Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Why the NSA Is Screwed

Cyrus Nemati, in a Future Tense article entitled "Dear NSA: You Need Hackers Like Me, but We Don't Need You" for Arizona State University, New America Foundation, and Slate put it very directly:
Do you see the problem? You need my kind of people for our understanding of data, but we don't necessarily want or need you. You are anathema to our values and expectations. Sure, you've got some very smart graybeards who can do some amazing things, but they're not going to be the bulk of your army for long, if they even still are. You have no choice but to keep hiring these hackers who didn't grow up having data hidden from them. It’s ironic that you’re becoming so reliant on people who really have no business in a tight-lipped, hierarchical quasi-militarized institution. We are the ones you should be snooping on, if only you could snoop without us.
I feel your pain.
Edward Snowden smoked you, and it wasn't even very hard for him. Now, I know what you're going to say: "It won't happen again! We'll improve security!" Who is going to improve your security? Is it going to be the naval officers you used to hire, respectful of hierarchy and used to a military lifestyle? Or is it going to be contractors with the information freedom ideals of the millennial hacker? Yeah, I thought so.
Let's face it: This isn't going to be the last time your secrets are aired to the public. It's probably not even going to be the last time this year that your secrets are aired to the public by another Edward Snowden, because you've got countless Edward Snowdens on your payroll whose first—not last—instinct is to blow open your information infrastructure. I mean, you tried to recruit me years ago, for goodness’ sake. Those confidential recruitment materials that said "For Your Eyes Only" all over them? Yeah, I showed those to everyone I knew, mostly because you were so heavy-handed with all the confidential stuff.
I knew the millennials were worth something. Over the coming years, they'll become in charge. I can't wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment