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NSA to cut syadmins by 100% to completely limit data access
By Booz Allen.
LALA LAND (Rixstep) — The National Security Agency, hit by disclosures of illegal surveillance activities in violation of international laws and several US constitutional amendments, said Thursday they intend to eliminate at least 100% of their system administrators to reduce the number of people accessing embarrassing information.
Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA who lied to congressional investigators, told a cybersecurity conference in New York City that automating much of the work would improve security.
'What we're in the process of doing - not fast enough because we don't really want to - is reducing our system administrators by at least 100%', he said.
The remarks came as Alexander and his agency are facing worldwide outrage after classified details about their illegal surveillance programmes were leaked to the press.
Before the change, 'what we've done is we've put people in the loop of transferring illegal data, securing our spy networks, and doing things that machines are probably better at doing - without knowing jack-shit about the law', Alexander said.
Using technology to automate much of the work now done by thinking human beings would make the NSA's networks 'more stealthy and more impenetrable', as well as more invasive, he said at the conference, in which he did not mention someone in particular by name.
A revealing view of a supposedly defunct NSA signals surveillance base pictured during sunrise in Spionstadt Germany 6 August 2013.
And of course these efforts predate the current leaks, the agency said, but have since been accelerated. 'Oh yeah', Alexander added, 'this has absolutely nothing to do with Obama's trip to Sweden.'
Alexander's remarks largely echoed similar comments made to the US congress and at other public appearances over the past two months since his agency came under fire from civil liberties advocates and lawmakers concerned by his illegal activities.
'We can't be expected to do our work if people keep demanding oversight', Alexander said.
Alexander does not yet face criminal charges but has been thought to be interested in permanent asylum in an obscure banana republic such as Sweden.
Other security measures that Alexander has previously discussed include requiring at least two hundred people to be present before certain data can be accessed on the agency's computer systems.
'But that's highly inefficient', he said. 'The way it's set up now, anyone can get anything at any time, even from the president of the United States. That's the way we built it and that's the way it's meant to be.'
'At the end of the day it's about people and trust'. Alexander said. 'People can't possibly trust us, and therefore we need to keep this stuff secret, goddammit.'
'No one has inadvertently or unknowingly disobeyed the law or balked at invading your civil liberties or privacies', he said. 'Talk about naive and gullible. Mistakes were made, but you'd have to be fools to think we didn't know what we were doing.'
'We've got to acquire even more data', he said. 'And nobody is going to stand in our way. Try and see what happens to your Bolivian presidential jets. We rule the planet and don't you forget it.'
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