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View Diary: How NSA employees are prepped for awkward holiday dinners (118 comments)

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    at the NSA (from Wiki, which includes info on Snowden and which I believe most Kossacks would be surprisingly pleased by:

    In 2012, the NSA said more than 30,000 employees work at Ft. Meade and other facilities.  In 2012 John C. Inglis, the deputy director, said that the total number of NSA employees is "somewhere between 37,000 and one billion" as a joke, and stated that the agency is "probably the biggest employer of introverts." In 2013 Der Spiegel stated that the NSA had 40,000 employees. More widely, it has been described as the world's largest single employer of mathematicians.  Some NSA employees form part of the workforce of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that provides the NSA with satellite signals intelligence.
    So all of those mathematicians deserve your scorn at family gatherings?

    Did you know a large segment of the NSA has as its mission the protection of U.S. Govt computer systems from cyber attack?  So all of those IT specialists are liars who violate the Constitution?

    So while there is no excuse for domestic surveillance and we now have a way forward to reform the NSA (which we all hope the President will embrace), there is likewise no excuse for vilification of every single NSA employee as Constitutional oath breakers and fiends who are spying into our e-mails and phone calls.  

    Let's focus on those folks that ARE doing that, and how we can change things.  Let's have the debate as to whether or which parts of the NSA's mission are still viable, for example, protecting our communications infrastructure from cyber attacks.  (This nation would be brought down pretty quickly if large-scale computer systems were slammed.  What if it were folks at the NSA protecting healthcare.gov?)

    We can spend a lot of time sneering at everyone who works at the NSA.  Or we can stop vilifying public servants who really care about what they're doing, and doing it properly and legally, and focus on keeping them in the system.  We accomplish nothing by driving good people out of the system.  

    Jeez, someone goes Godwin (above) and I get more flack for my comments?  

    Once again the purity police, how dare someone suggest we temper our absolutism with some reality.

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