Saturday, August 24, 2013

Good article about what NSA used to be

And how a former employee is dismayed about what it's become:
Another thing they used to say at those briefings was that the might of the NSA would never be used against U.S. citizens. Back when I signed up, the agency made it crystal clear to us that we were empowered to protect our nation against only foreign enemies, not domestic ones. To do otherwise was against the NSA charter. More importantly, I got the strong sense that it was against the culture of the place. After working there for two summers, I genuinely believed that my colleagues would be horrified if they thought our work was being used to snoop on fellow Americans. Has that changed, too?
This resonates very strongly with me, and I can confirm that in the '80s and '90s people inside NSA would indeed be horrified at the thought of spying on Americans.  I'd give detail, but it's possibly classified, but I know for a fact that people felt this way.

Now, not so much.  Something noble has been lost, and I say that entirely unironically.

Via Tam.


R.K. Brumbelow said...

I will give a 3rd point of confirmation here. My colleagues and friends at 2 substantial TLAs are horrified with the changes since 9/11. Both agencies charters specify they will operate outside the USA and not act against citizens, both agencies have changed though and are operating in violation of their charters. Every one I once knew at both have either retired or gone into private enterprise.

Anonymous said...

The difference is that the organizations are now controlled by baby boomers, the people who now that they are "the man" are determined to make sure that it stays that way. Irony doesn't even begin to touch that.