×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

286 comments

astrotufing /. - again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913363)

Please please please comment on this story, we need the ad impressions.

And I have a 3 foot long penis (5, Insightful)

ameyer17 (935373) | about 6 months ago | (#44913369)

Seriously, though, just because you say it doesn't make it true.

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913459)

This sounds more like they're saying "Don't worry, everything is fine. The US people are too spineless to jeopardize and of our business arrangements."

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (3, Insightful)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 6 months ago | (#44913505)

Of course they aren't an abusive and unchecked spying agency engaged in illegal activity.
What is all this attention that they are under now if not being checked upon?

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (4, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 6 months ago | (#44913635)

Checked implies the oversight actually has teeth for enforcing policy/law. The token oversight given to the NSA reports to... the NSA.

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (3, Funny)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#44914049)

I'm really getting sick of this. All it would take to stop all of this is a phone call from the President, who has sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. People need to start blaming the person responsible, not some stupid bureaucracy.

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913963)

We are worse! Mu hah aha !!!

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913531)

Seriously, though, just because you say it doesn't make it true.

Sort of like calling everything they do, "illegal"? That's not true either.

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913595)

Actually a lot of what they do IS illegal, and not really debatable. When the Congress people who voted on the Patriot act and supported its renewal say what the NSA doing isn't allowed in the bill they passed that would be your first indication. The lying to judges to be allowed to continue should be your second clue. Then there is every time Obama or his people come out and say "what you are not seeing is abuse of power by the NSA" and the next day Snowden releases thousands of examples of illegal abueses should be the final nail in showing its illegal.

What you are attempting to do is spin it that this was all perfectly legal started under Bush, because for some reason we shouldn't hold a black man accountable for his actions. What appears to really have happened is the LARGE majority of what has been shown to be illegal has happened in the last 5 years, ignoring Congress and the written laws.

What the NSA letter SHOULD have said is:
The media outlets will continue to call anyone who holds us responsible racist or they will shift the blame to the previous administration to allow us to continune what we are doing uninterrupted. Hopefully we will be able to rig the election so that Hillary wins the next presidency so any calls of what we are doing is illegal will be met with a "War on Women". Because in reality we can't justify what we are doing, all we can do is attack the character of the people pointing it out and about half of our citizens are so fucking stupid they will jump in on our side.

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913981)

Hey go biggest Badass or go home. It's the American way!

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913573)

Yeah, right. And you'll find that all prisons are filled with innocent people, just ask them!

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#44913691)

yeah but if you just sent a letter to some girl saying that you don't have a 3 foot penis she might just start believing that you have a 3 foot penis.. or the very least a 1.5 foot penis.*

their stance is that because they're not getting prosecuted they're legit. because fuck, that's all it's down to...

*)this does not constitute as legal advice on how to get laid.

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913745)

Hitler's minions thought they were okay because they were just doing their job, also.

That didn't help them much when it came time to hand out the war-crimes awards.

Just something the NSA folks might want to think about. They also might want to take a gander at the Constitution and, in particular, the Bill of Rights. Read them all, including Amendment X. Unless they are too stupid to live, comprehending the meaning isn't particularly difficult - assume the words mean what they say they mean, no matter how many corrupt and pompous judges and bureaucrats there are trying to "reinterpret" words to make all the criminality okay.

There may be an accounting, eventually. Eventually may come sooner than later.

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913809)

From your comment, I would assume that perhaps you own a horse that is attached to this penis.

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913961)

Did anyone else notice the letter was dated Friday the 13th?

Re:And I have a 3 foot long penis (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 6 months ago | (#44914043)

You have completely missed the point.

This is an encoded message. The NSA are good at this.

What the message ACTUALLY says is:

MSG
Don't worry about this rubbish with the plebs - its business as usual.
EOM

Very simple really.

These are just words. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913373)

Actions speak much, much louder.

Re: These are just words. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913781)

As a contractor with them I'd have more trust in their words if the letter hadn't been waiting for me on my favorite table at the coffee shop I frequent on my days off...

Re: These are just words. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44914013)

As a contractor with them I'd have more trust in their words if the letter hadn't been waiting for me on my favorite table at the coffee shop I frequent on my days off...

Don't you appreciate the personal attention paid to you by your client? After all, at the coffee shop is where you feel most comfortable, almost like when you are at home maybe moreso than at home.

Extended Family? (5, Funny)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 6 months ago | (#44913393)

I guess that makes them Big Brother in law.

Re:Extended Family? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913481)

When I saw "family" in the letter, I thought of "Mafia Family".

And this:

“The NSA/CSS Memorial Wall lists the names of 171 cryptologists who have died in the line of duty since the Agency’s inception in 1952,” according to the letter.

What? From thrombosis from sitting on their asses all day?

They hemorrhaged from a paper cut?

Complications from alcohol abuse?

Racing desk chairs in the hall?

Got caught by the husband of that hot chick they were monitoring? That hot chick turned out to be a guy?

Re:Extended Family? (1)

Geirzinho (1068316) | about 6 months ago | (#44913515)

USS Pueblo?
USS Liberty?
Vietnam listening posts?
And many other places they have gathered intelligence...

Military (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913629)

Those were all military personal collecting data for the NSA.

They were NOT NSA people.

NSA people sit in their little cubes in the Virginia and Maryland areas. They do NOT risk their lives. That's all bullshit that any of those people lost their lives in the line of duty.

Re:Military (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913999)

Actually uniformed and civilian NSA people do go out into the field as we used to deploy (sail) with them on-board every time we went out for a long cruise. So those people were most likely in the field when they were killed.

[How do I know this? Whenever their gear broke and they couldn't fix it, I was one of the few people on board with way more than enough clearance to repair it even though I didn't work for the NSA.]

Re:Military (0)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#44914077)

yeah so then they are military?
which is it, military or not military? playing games with the definition to avoid technically having declared war by action on every nation on earth?

Re:Extended Family? (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 6 months ago | (#44913549)

It's more like a Mafia Family, in the Tony Soprano sense of the word.

Actually, the tone of "Weather This Storm" letter sounds more like a radio broadcast, live, from the Führer's Bunker in Berlin, in late April 1945.

Maybe the NSA has some Wunderwaffen in their pockets, like V-3s and V-4s that will ensure their victory in their quest to destroy Americans' trust in their government, and rid the land of the yoke of that pesky Constitution and Bill of Rights.

. . . and they would have succeeded, if it wasn't for you meddling kids of Slashdot . . .

Re:Extended Family? (4, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 6 months ago | (#44913667)

I guess that makes them Big Brother in law.

I prefer the term "Big Sister" -- Think about it: Who's more likely to keep a bunch of detailed records of all goings on, then get pissed off and throw a fit when someone leaks her diary?

Re:Extended Family? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44914037)

I guess that makes them Big Brother in law.

I prefer the term "Big Sister" -- Think about it: Who's more likely to keep a bunch of detailed records of all goings on, then get pissed off and throw a fit when someone leaks her diary?

Are you claiming the POTUS is really a girl dressed in men's attire? That would explain quite a bit.

So, they lie to their own staff, too? (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 6 months ago | (#44913395)

Not surprised. Not surprised at all.

-jcr

Re:So, they lie to their own staff, too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44914003)

Worse, they believe it. Further making it appropriate to borrow this from Chrisitanity: "The road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions."

I don't see how prosecutions can be avoided (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913407)

Even a corrupt, militarised state like the united states, this is just too nasty, visible, and public a scandal, for prosecutions of NSA staff, and any political leadership, with knowledge, to be avoided. I can't believe that Americans, the worlds greatest talkers of democracy, will tolerate such an uttlerly despicible act of totalitarianism, within their own country.

Re:I don't see how prosecutions can be avoided (1)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | about 6 months ago | (#44913439)

We're already getting molested at airports, among other things. People might (temporarily, and in small numbers) complain about it, but it seems unlikely that much will change.

Re:I don't see how prosecutions can be avoided (1, Interesting)

Garridan (597129) | about 6 months ago | (#44913759)

It'll change. [wikipedia.org] The terror may be unimaginable before it changes... but much will change. Who can stand up to the US? It'll take the alliance of China and Russia. We can't stand against their combined force. And so, in a fit of desperation, we'll use the bomb. In a world without humans, there will be peace. Does that mean Obama will deserve the peace prize after all?

Re:I don't see how prosecutions can be avoided (3, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 6 months ago | (#44913473)

I can't believe that Americans, the worlds greatest talkers of democracy, will tolerate such an uttlerly despicible act of totalitarianism, within their own country.

Well, sure, in theory the people won't stand for this egregious violation of our rights, and come November, you can bet that... Omigawd, did you see what Miley did at the VMAs? And that new video of hers - That girl seems headed for trouble, mark my words! Hey, can you stop and McD's on the way over and get me two Big Macs, a large fry, and a large strawberry shake? No, wait... I need to lose a few pounds, make it a small fry. So, who do you think will win the big game tonight?

Re:I don't see how prosecutions can be avoided (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 6 months ago | (#44913583)

Easy.

The NSA have got files on everyone.

Which politician is going to take them on and see all their dirty laundry thrown to the media?

Re:I don't see how prosecutions can be avoided (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 6 months ago | (#44914121)

worse everyone knows the NSA has a big file on everyone and is willing to display all the details, which means even if they don't have anything on the first politician to speak up they can make shit up and people will buy it.

When you have to write a letter (5, Insightful)

The_Star_Child (2660919) | about 6 months ago | (#44913411)

Acknowledging the problem doesn't exist, it most certainly does.

Re:When you have to write a letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913543)

Fortunately, our handsomest politicians came up with a cheap, last minute way to combat global warming. Ever since 2063, we simply drop a giant ice cube into the ocean now and again. Of course, because the greenhouse gasses are still building up, it takes more and more ice each time, thus solving the problem once and for all.

Re:When you have to write a letter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913951)

This problem certain exists, but I don't agree with your logic. I once had to write a letter to customers after a demonstrably false smeer campaign was waged against us.

Yes. Yes they are. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913419)

End of discussion.

Snowjob (5, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | about 6 months ago | (#44913421)

>>> It was intended to reassure them that the NSA is not really the abusive and unchecked spying agency engaged in illegal activity that someone reading former NSA contractor Edward Snowdenâ(TM)s disclosures might think...

Uhh what? Snowden just released existing documents, he didn't create them.
It stands to reason that the NSA should be judged exactly by their actions, i.e. the content of the documents they themselves created.

Of course they're not illegal! (5, Insightful)

d33tah (2722297) | about 6 months ago | (#44913425)

Of course they're not "engaged in illegal activity". They control the law.

I am sure (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913427)

I am sure that the NSA sees itself as the good guy, and I am sure it does serve some useful, protective services. However, if those services come at the expense of civil liberties then the price is too high. And if it comes at a small cost to civil liberty, then it won't be too much longer until the bureaucracy feeds on itself until the small infractions become large ones.

It's not the NSA who will pay the price (5, Insightful)

klingens (147173) | about 6 months ago | (#44913433)

Of course the NSA will weather it, will continue to exist and will continue to spy. For them it's a (short) embarrassing time after which the news media will forget them and all will be the same for them again.

The ones who pay for this are the US IT companies which will be distrusted world wide and the US government (politicians, diplomats, secretary of state, etc) who will be distrusted even by their closest allies. US companies will notice it in the long term bottom line e.g. when big foreign companies won't outsource to a US company. The public will forget the scandal soon like they forgot Echelon, the big companies who have actual trade secrets however won't, and if they do they will probably regret it soon when their secrets aren't secret anymore and their US competitors magically know everything they do. These losses are however far in the future: more than a quarter away so they will be denied, at least publically and especially by the ones responsible: the politicians.

The politicians will have a lot less trust and goodwill from their foreign counterparts, even and especially from allied countries.

Re:It's not the NSA who will pay the price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913617)

There are other costs. When the NSA gets caught lying blatantly, and when their powers are used for wholesale, untargeted information gathering, it wastes their time and money and produces data that's more suited for internal political manipulation than for sensible foreign policy.

Re:It's not the NSA who will pay the price (1, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | about 6 months ago | (#44913653)

it wastes their time and money and produces data that's more suited for internal political manipulation than for sensible foreign policy.

There's no such thing as 'wasting money' when you work for the government. The more money you spend, the more money you get next year, the more people you get to hire, and the more power you have.

Re:It's not the NSA who will pay the price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913633)

European, Russian, Iranian, and Chinese intelligence agencies are also known to spy, including on internet based communications, email and the rest. If you want to avoid that you need to think about only using Elbonian [wikipedia.org] hosting and labor. Otherwise you're kidding yourself that you're going "spy free" by going outside the US.

You're also confused about the spying that the US government does. It isn't to seal trade secrets [cryptome.org]. I can understand the confusion on the point though, given certain European practices [nwsource.com].

Re:It's not the NSA who will pay the price (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 6 months ago | (#44913877)

If the data are important to you, you host them in house. Hopefully the practical lesson that everybody learned from this isn't just, "US bad, everywhere else good". That's such a ridiculously superficial and overly specific interpretation of all of this.

There's no such thing as perfect security, but trusting crucial data with opaque third-parties is about as far from perfect security as you can get.

Re:It's not the NSA who will pay the price (1)

green is the enemy (3021751) | about 6 months ago | (#44913843)

the ones responsible: the politicians.

What I am more worried about is who the politicians are representing? I doubt it is in the general public's best interest to run an extensive, secret internal spying program. Trust in the government is more beneficial than catching a small number of criminals using this method. The secrecy of it facilitates selective enforcement, potentially giving certain people far more power than they should have. Are we seeing the tip of the iceberg of the real power struggle behind the scenes? Could it be that some powerful entities are deliberately sabotaging trust in the US government? Could this be a media circus distracting us from an even larger power grab?

Re: It's not the NSA who will pay the price (2)

guttentag (313541) | about 6 months ago | (#44914079)

I read somewhere that all NSA restrooms switched their toilet paper to Quilted Northern a couple years ago. Allegedly, the employees had grown so accustomed to wiping their rear ends with "the cloud" they refused to use anything less.

NSA/CSS - approved by W3C ? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 6 months ago | (#44913449)

I had not heard about this new style sheet standard [w3.org]. Do I need to start to use it on my web sites ? Does it protect my sensitive information from the commies/taliban/mafia/... ? Which browsers support it ?

Re:NSA/CSS - approved by W3C ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913679)

With the new NSA CSS standard, it allows you to make websites with absolutely No Privacy Included.
You can use the new display:NSA-frame to automatically make all content MASSIVE so everyone around can see it
In the case of audio content, there is also an extension to that which increases the volume.
If that isn't to your liking, there is also the new @share rule, any content in this section automatically gets screenshotted and sent to any accounts you are logged in to from social networking sites. Marvellous.

The CSS purists were upset that this spec had only some relation to styling but also had some interactivity features, but then someone pointed them to the CSS3 spec and they quickly sat down and cried with head on arms.

NSA kills trees (1)

McGruber (1417641) | about 6 months ago | (#44913471)

Gee, I wonder why NSA employees are handing out printed copies of the letter instead of just emailing (or Facebook sharing) it to their family members?

(There might be a lesson there for the rest of us.....)

Re:NSA kills trees (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 6 months ago | (#44913559)

I assumed they'd just send an encrypted copy from the PotUS to the head of the UN via a secured line with the presumption that everyone in the NSA along with any contractors would read it as a matter of course...

Obviously anyone who didn't get the memo just isn't doing their job.

Today is a good day to die (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913475)

"In the coming weeks and months more stories will appear"

In other words there's shit storm that's about to rain down on the NSA that will shake the organization to it's knees. And they know it.

Weather this storm indeed.

Sound exactly like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913483)

.. an abusive husband/father. "I hit you because I love you and you deserve it. Now fix dinner/clean your room"

To paraphrase... (4, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 6 months ago | (#44913521)

To paraphrase the letter:
We're family, we love you, so you should love us. Everything said in the media (except for a few pundits who we are paying off) is lies, the leaks didn't really say what they said. Everything we do is legal because we have the power to define the meaning of legal as anything we do.

But is it genuine? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913537)

Has anybody verified this letter is real? I smell a hoax.

Over 99.9% honest agents! (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 6 months ago | (#44913565)

It's not about hundreds of honest agents and managers doing the right thing. It's about creating an apparatus where a rogue agent at the behest of some powerful politician can get lost among the many and spy on opponent politicians and their supporters.

With easy to defeat or ignore technological barriers and just "you should go get approval first before you listen in", i.e. relying on agent honesty to Do The Right Thing, we've already lost. I keep bringing up the Watergate people -- these thugs, most of which would have been agents or that level of clearance, wouldn't think twice about doing this.

Re:Over 99.9% honest agents! (4, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 6 months ago | (#44913661)

The mass surveillance apparatus which is unquestionably a violation of 4th amendment protections requires just a few more than 1 in 10,000 agents to carry out. There may very well be a large group of perfectly honest and upstanding agents in the NSA, but the corruption goes much deeper than a few rogue individuals. It goes to the very top, with the head of the NSA perjuring himself to Congress only very shortly before Snowden's documents started trickling out in the news.

I'll tell you what it means ... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 6 months ago | (#44913567)

FTA:

"The NSA/CSS Memorial Wall lists the names of 171 cryptologists who have died in the line of duty since the Agency’s inception in 1952,” according to the letter.

What does that even mean? People die while working for us and put their lives on the line every day so don’t even think about criticizing our role in government? Or, for the families who are questioning whether their loved one is now a forever disgraced government employee, do not worry because they are working on collecting “intelligence” at great risk in some cases?"

Nope. It is a thinly veiled threat. You, dear family member, could be number 172 ... on second thought make that 173; we'll get Snowden first!"

Re:I'll tell you what it means ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913871)

How exactly does a cryptologist die in the line of duty? Isn't that a desk job? Does that mean they labored long and hard into the night, foreswearing friends, family, personal health and everything other than cracking that code, finally dying of a heart attack with their hands still on the keyboard or crumpling to the ground with whiteboard markers in their hands?

Re:I'll tell you what it means ... (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 6 months ago | (#44914053)

"The NSA/CSS Memorial Wall lists the names of 171 cryptologists who have died in the line of duty since the Agency's inception in 1952," according to the letter.

This refers to members of the US military doing cryptographic duty who died in the line of duty. Here's the list. [nsa.gov] Most died during the Cold War or in Vietnam. In recent years, in Afghanistan or Iraq. Only one civilian, Alan M. Blue, who was on the USS Liberty when the Israelis attacked it.

Quitting problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913587)

Sounds like the NSA has a quitting problem they are trying to abate.

Kenyan shopping mall massacre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913607)

Is that completely unrelated to this story, or do we expect the US government to prevent similar from happening here on American soil while the NSA and FBI dutifully obey all laws on the books?

Re:Kenyan shopping mall massacre (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913867)

Is that completely unrelated to this story, or do we expect the US government to prevent similar from happening here on American soil while the NSA and FBI dutifully obey all laws on the books?

The NSA didn't prevent the lunatic from perpetrating the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

The NSA didn't stop those idiots from setting off an IED during the Boston Marathon.

The NSA & FBI didn't help with the apprehension of the snipers in the D.C. area a few years back either.
The skippers were caught because they were noticed acting suspiciously in a rest area.

The FBI and NSA didn't prevent the events of September 11, 2001.

I'm afraid you will need a few examples of actual successes in order to make your claims stick, but you are going to have a problem with this, because there are no examples of attacks being prevented.

Oh, and how about that mess in Benghazi ? Yeah, all the NSA spying seems to be really working out
well with respect to keeping Americans safe.

Re:Kenyan shopping mall massacre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913975)

Fred: Dan, what the hell are you doing?

Dan: I'm keeping pink elephants away.

Fred: What pink elephants?

Dan: See, it's working.

Fear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913631)

Why the NSA is not writing a letter to the American people to explain themselves?

The reason is that whilst NSA is well protected from normal folk, but they are very scared for more of their employees to leak more information - one more Snowden and the NSA as we know it won't exist.

Cigarette companies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913651)

This rhetoric is no different than the cigarette companies, which pretended to be standing up for "smokers rights." Their leaked documents proved a very different story and motivations.

Spooky use of the word 'Family'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913659)

NSA are 'family' all right.

And 'family' members don't let each other down. Even if it does sound a bit like the Mafia.

What NSA SHOULD have done after the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War ended was to say:

"Hey, we aren't needed so much any more. If it can be shown that there is less threat nowadays, we'll just wind down our most expensive facilities and keep a small corps going so that if we're ever needed in the future we can build up rapidly. In the meantime, it's going to be great living in peace..."

What they ACTUALLY said was:

"OMG! Our Threat has gone away! Quick, start up a new threat, in the Middle East or somewhere, to keep justifying our existence! Something that we can claim will go on for EVER! We HAVE to keep people frightened, or our budget will start to disappear."

first step in the playbook is deny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913665)

the fact that they wrote the letter is an acknowledgment of everything and pretty much says it all!

I sense desperation (1)

godless dave (844089) | about 6 months ago | (#44913687)

Writing to employees' families and referring to his organization as a "national treasure" both give off a sense of defensiveness. As another poster said, they will almost certainly weather the political storm and continue doing what they do, but this letter doesn't make them look any better.

We Shall Prevail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913697)

I can't help but think of Apple's 1984 commercial.

Following the process (1)

shadowone (581691) | about 6 months ago | (#44913701)

1. Ignore their story

2. Deny their story

3. ....

4. They win

/me waves at the NSA analysist in cubical N42-34

Just admit that you're criminals (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 6 months ago | (#44913703)

Just admit that you have no concern for civilian privacy (whether they're American or otherwise), that you have no trepidation when it comes to breaking the rules and inventing your own, that you think you can decide what is right for yourselves when you know very well that it's wrong (and if you don't, that you need to go back to grade school philosophy), that you have no respect for the sovereignty of other groups and nations (many of which want to have nothing to do with you), and that you are a lying, secretive, pragmatic organization with no morals, conscience, values or principles other than feeding your own greed, power and corruption.

Seriously, denial is the first indication that you have a problem. If anything, this idiotic claptrap is indication that the NSA needs more than ever to be dismantled and banished into the annals of corruption autocracies.

shiny object (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#44913715)

In 6 months we wont remember who the NSA is or what happened.

Humans today have the attention span of a turnip.

Re:shiny object (1)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 6 months ago | (#44913757)

"Humans today have the attention span of a politician."

FTFY.....Turnips are really good listeners for a couple of weeks before the mold sets in........

Because, ya know, we are SO CREDIBLE! (1)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 6 months ago | (#44913735)

Obviously all of the rhetoric surrounding our illegal or unconstitutional behavior are extremist lies that jeopardize the safety of your country and families.

THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

Re:Because, ya know, we are SO CREDIBLE! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913973)

They don't grade fathers, but if your daughter's a stripper, you fucked up. --Chris Rock

1) If you think stripping is in any way an improper activity, you fucked up. 2) Likewise, if you taught your kids that it is improper, you fucked them up. 3) Insofar as you're getting your (cough) "wisdom" from Chris Rock... you're really fucked up.

Spin control (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 6 months ago | (#44913739)

The NSA denied the spying flat out, until they were caught.

The government claimed the court oversight was adequate, until FOI releases proved they're not.

They said they were only using the surveillance data to catch terrorists, until it was revealed that the DEA was getting a feed.

Why should anyone, even an NSA employee, believe anything these idiots have to say any more?

Re:Spin control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913969)

#48369 report for rehabilitation. That is all.

Letters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913767)

"The National Security Agency sent a letter to its employees, affiliates and contractors to reassure them that the NSA is not really an abusive and unchecked spying agency engaged in illegal activity."

We have always been at war with Oceania.

Thanks for Iraq. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913793)

"For more than 6 decades, NSA/CSS has been responsible for protecting the United States through its information assurance"

You can never quit "The Family" (1)

Forever Wondering (2506940) | about 6 months ago | (#44913807)

If anyone was thinking of breaking up with the NSA family, the letter states, “We want to put the information you are reading and hearing about in the press into context and reassure you that this Agency and its workforce are deserving and appreciative of your support.”

Family == Mafia [*]

[*] or used to be until the National Stasi Agency sullied the term ...

Now is the time (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 months ago | (#44913845)

I hope that there are lots more courageous NSA employees and contractors who will stand up and be whistleblowers.

They're probably our last best hope to turn back this police state.

Yeah, I'll believe all that (4, Funny)

russotto (537200) | about 6 months ago | (#44913881)

Looks like Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf (the Iraqi Information Minister during the second Gulf War) has snagged himself a new contract. WE ARE NOT SPYING ON ANY AMERICANS, AND THERE IS NO FAILURE OF OVERSIGHT.

rogue element or national treasure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913891)

“It has been discouraging to see how our Agency frequently has been portrayed in the news as more of a rogue element than a national treasure."

The robust and aggressive, effective and highly competent intelligence gathering of the NSA does require oversight. I expect the US Congress to do this job, unfortunately they prove themselves over and over to be political whores loyal to their Party and extreme ideologies rather than their country.

So there is risk. But think of the NSA as a Bletchley Park on steroids. These are normal, intelligent people trying to solve hard problems. I'm sure there are administrators who might compromise integrity for personal gain here and there, and rogue elements with access to the information could abuse it horribly. That's why effective oversight is required. In my opinion Snowden himself is an example of the damage to national security that can be caused by a rogue element with access to this information.

The knee-jerk anti-NSA sentiment even among intelligent people here and places like hacker news is so horribly misplaced. How many of these people dump their lives into facebook and let any app from any random developer suck their contacts list from their phones? Get some sensible priorities for directing all of the energy and hate. I direct my anger at the incompetent oversight committee -- the US Congress -- and incompetent controls in hiring and protecting information especially among sys admins.

Re:rogue element or national treasure? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913995)

I direct my anger at the incompetent oversight committee -- the US Congress -- and incompetent controls in hiring and protecting information especially among sys admins.

Coldfjord, why don't you go buy a six pack and find yourself a reasonably priced whore for the
night ( or maybe a teenage boy, that's probably more to your taste ) and shut the fuck up.

Most of us here are not going to ever believe your bullshit, and it is way past boring reading
your moronic attempts at persuasion.

.

SS+50 years = NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913909)

I'm sure the SS did not think of themselves any differently than the NSA.

Bread and circuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44913947)

I'm not sure why everyone is so shocked the people don't stand up for their dignity and shut this system down. The answer is the concept of 'bread and circuses' and it's in chapter 4 of the dictator's handbook, and always has been.

Read it for yourself. http://dictatorshandbook.net/book/node79.html

Just being legal doesn't make it right (3, Insightful)

Goonie (8651) | about 6 months ago | (#44913983)

There is no legal impediment to the NSA collecting, logging, analyzing, and possibly mischaracterizing *everything* I do online, and sharing the results of that analysis with the relevant local cops. The constitutional protections extended to American citizens do not apply to foreigners, from those living in other Western democracies, to those living in countries controlled by various "our-sonnfabitches" that the USA has supported over the years. It's well documented that the CIA has, on a regular basis, interfered in the domestic politics of other countries around the world, including aiding politically convenient despots in enforcing repression. In the old days, the computational tools to surveil everyone in the world simply didn't exist, so the CIA and NSA were naturally limited in who they could bother. Now, such limits apply to a much lesser extent. In terms of the technical capability (and I'm not implying equality of motives) it's heading in the direction of what the Stasi could do - to every single person on the entire planet. And, sorry, I am *not* happy that the United States government has that kind of reach. And nor should you be.

Re:Just being legal doesn't make it right (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#44914101)

If only there was someone in charge, who had power over the executive branch of government, and could stop this. If there was, maybe we could start blaming that person until they acted.

A family that violates the constitution together (4, Funny)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 6 months ago | (#44914029)

stays together. Now let's all gather around the fireplace and take turns throwing copies of the Bill of Rights into the fire to stay warm.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...