Both These Things Cannot Be True

Last Friday, NSA’s Compliance Director John DeLong assured journalists the violations NSA reported in 2012 were “miniscule.” (I noted that the report showed some of the most sensitive violations primarily get found through audits and therefore their discovery depend in part on how many people are auditing.)

Today, as part of a story describing that NSA still doesn’t know what Edward Snowden took from NSA, MSNBC quotes a source saying NSA has stinky audit capabilities.

Another said that the NSA has a poor audit capability, which is frustrating efforts to complete a damage assessment.

(We’ve long known this about NSA’s financial auditing function, and there have long been signs they couldn’t audit data either, but apparently MSNBC’s source agree.)

For the past several months, various Intelligence officials have assured Congress and the public that it keeps US person data very carefully guarded, so only authorized people can access it.

Today, MSNBC reports NSA had (has?) poor data compartmentalization.

NSA had poor data compartmentalization, said the sources, allowing Snowden, who was a system administrator, to roam freely across wide areas.

Again, there have long been signs that non-analysts had untracked access to very sensitive data. Multiple sources agree — and possibly not just non-analysts.

While I’m really sympathetic for the people who are reportedly “overwhelmed” trying to figure out what Snowden took, we’re seeing precisely the same thing we saw with Bradley Manning: that it takes a giant black eye for intelligence agencies to even admit to gaping holes in their security and oversight.

And in NSA’s case, it proves most of their reassurances to be false.

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bmaz @StephanieKelton @pkelton Trust me, get a Samoyed. You will definitely need one of these http://t.co/2FVyiJTllA but you will never be sorry.
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emptywheel RT @ghappour: Doc released by Joint Chiefs of Staff argues for controlling offensive cyber ops requiring “national level” approval. http://…
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bmaz @StephanieKelton Yeah, easy for you to say that, but then they turn into THIS: http://t.co/RmafmOoihx
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emptywheel @bmaz Ohh. Kiki likes be an only steak-eater. (Remind me to tell you abt McC waking us up by pacing bc we forgot to give him steak on table)
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bmaz Welp, at Casa de bmaz the current discussion is whether or not to get another one of these (yes we already have one): http://t.co/qbvy66kri3
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bmaz Who will fire and hire a new coach and/or athletic director first, Michigan or Florida? https://t.co/P3QJ6pEWnL
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bmaz The Decline and Fall of the Bo Merlot Empire https://t.co/P3QJ6pEWnL A tragic tale about Michigan Men. With music by Mose Allison+Jack Bruce
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emptywheel RT @AllThingsHLS: My latest article for @ForeignPolicy on Lone Wolves with links to @intelwire and @dmataconis http://t.co/C1fSGKB1lY
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emptywheel RT @ianbremmer: Largest contribution of foreign medical staff to fight Ebola in West Africa: Cuba
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emptywheel @joshgerstein Murkan ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. Wanna write screen play for Ebola infected terrorists landing rising up, invading?
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bmaz @Honeygirl_Music @DwntwnKiraBrown Count on it. Assuming Scotty remembers to text me! Tell him I will bring Liz next time.
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bmaz RT @Honeygirl_Music: @bmaz @DwntwnKiraBrown You rock! Thanks so much. Awesome to meet you! We hope to see you again soon!
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