Banksy stencil photo by nolifebeforecoffee
There’s been a lot of talk about Edward Snowden and the NSA, specifically whether he should be hanged by his neck till dead or treated as a whistleblower. I lean towards the whistleblower side, largely because it’s really hard to take the side of a monolith like the NSA over one human being. There are a few points which have been bugging me.
The NSA’s work is to bug, spy on and hack people – from friendly heads of state to, well, like everyone in the US. Them getting all aggrieved when someone hacks them is a bit rich.
The NSA can crack security from phone companies to foreign nations, yet all of their information is available to an outside contractor a few months in on a job? I mean, really? There’s one level of hacking which is malicious and another where the company being hacked is actually negligent. In this case, being the NSA and not, say, Target, you have to conclude that their security was a bit crap.
I mean, it’s not a case of your front door was open it’s OK to rob you (which it isn’t). This is, however, a house of secrets, a lot of them dubious and unconstitutional, and for them not to guard the secrets they steal is more akin to the Forty Thieves losing their treasure to Ali Baba than a poor innocent being robbed. They had a stupid password and they stole all the stuff anyways, so nobody should really feel sorry for them. Same for the NSA.
If the NSA has access to seemingly all of the world’s information, why can’t the US design a healthcare exchange. Couldn’t they just use the info they have and sign everyone up automatically? Why does anything requiring citizen permission need to be outsourced.
So do I feel sorry for the NSA? Hells no. If you’re stealing secrets and somebody steals from you, don’t be surprised if no one cares.