Mom was wrong about lying. She said no one would trust a liar. No one likes a liar. It's better to tell the truth because for one thing, it's easier to remember. She said that liars never get anywhere and won't be successful in life. Her most ardent argument against lying was, "You'll have a sore tongue the day after you tell a lie".
That worked when I was a little kid. It sort of worked when I was a teenager. It's mostly worked most of my life. She certainly was right about the "truth" being easier to remember.
I can't explain Jay Carney.
Transcript from yesterday's Press Briefing:
Q -- today revealed details of another NSAI wonder if he has a sore tongue today?
top-secret program -- this one called X-Keyscore, and it allows analysts to search not just metadata but the content of emails, search history without prior approval. Did the administration let members -- any members of Congress know about this before today?
MR. CARNEY: As we've explained, and the intelligence community has explained, allegations of widespread, unchecked analyst access to NSA collection data are false. Access to all of NSA's analytic tools is limited to only those personnel who require access for their assigned tasks. And there are multiple technical manual and supervisory checks and balances within the system to prevent those who don't have access from achieving that access.
For further information, I'd refer you to the intelligence community.
Q The question was, were there any members of Congress who were informed about the existence of X-Keyscore?
MR. CARNEY: Well, the question was frontloaded with assertions that I had an answer to --
Q -- the details of this program which were revealed today. But the question is, were there any members of Congress who were informed before today about the existence of the program or its capabilities?
MR. CARNEY: I would refer you to the intelligence community, to the ODNI for more information about that.
Q But in the past, the administration has used the fact that it's informed members of Congress as justification for these surveillance programs. Are you not able to give us an assurance that Congress --
MR. CARNEY: I'd would refer you -- I'm saying that I don't know the answer to that, and I would refer you to the intelligence community --
Q So you don't know whether Congress was informed?
MR. CARNEY: Again, I would refer you to the intelligence community. What I did do is assert that some of the claims made in that article are false. So informing people about false claims isn't necessarily what we do.
The part where Mom was wrong about lying is that accomplished liars tend to seen as believable and believable liars go far. I never doubted the morality of telling the truth being preferable to lying it's just that after seeing how many bankers and financiers make millions out of lying. I shouldn't be surprised that government tools lie and are rewarded for lying. Maybe I'm being too harsh.
Maybe Jay wasn't lying so much as he was reporting what he thinks is the truth based upon what he is told. I believe a full reprint of a government press release is ok. After all, my taxes paid for this fiction.
Press Statement on 30 July 2013
As the IC and NSA have stated previously, the implication that NSA's collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false. NSA's activities are focused and specifically deployed against - and only against - legitimate foreign intelligence targets in response to requirements that our leaders need for information necessary to protect our nation and its interest. Public release of this classified material about NSA collection systems, without context, does nothing more than jeopardize sources and methods, and further confuse a very important issue for the country. Although it is impossible to provide full details of classified programs and still have them remain effective, we offer the following points for clarification:
XKEYSCORE is used as part of NSA's lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system. By the nature of NSA's mission, which is the collection of foreign intelligence, all of our analytic tools are aimed at information we collect pursuant to lawful authority to respond to foreign intelligence requirements - nothing more.These types of programs allow us to collect the information that enables us to perform our missions successfully - to defend the nation and to protect US and allied troops abroad. (For example, as of 2008, there were over 300 terrorists captured using intelligence generated from XKEYSCORE.)
Allegations of widespread, unchecked analyst access to NSA collection data are simply not true. Access to XKEYSCORE, as well as all of NSA's analytic tools, is limited to only those personnel who require access for their assigned tasks. Those personnel must complete appropriate training prior to being granted such access - training which must be repeated on a regular basis. This training not only covers the mechanics of the tool but also each analyst's ethical and legal obligations. In addition, there are multiple technical, manual and supervisory checks and balances within the system to prevent deliberate misuse from occurring.
Our tools have stringent oversight and compliance mechanisms built in at several levels. One feature is the system's ability to limit what an analyst can do with a tool, based on the source of the collection and each analyst's defined responsibilities. Not every analyst can perform every function, and no analyst can operate freely. Every search by an NSA analyst is fully auditable, to ensure that they are proper and within the law.
Continuous and selective revelations of specific techniques and tools used by NSA to pursue legitimate foreign intelligence targets is detrimental to the national security of the United States and our allies, and places at risk those we are sworn to protect - our citizens, our war fighters, and our allies.
Defending Our Nation. Securing The Future.
Historical Document | Date Posted: Jul 31, 2013
You can believe that if you want to. You might to take that with a grain
pound of salt. The NSA party line is that they don't have the capability of doing the deeds described in the news. If they have 700 servers and countless switches all over the world; they most certainly can do what the Washington Post and The Guardian is reporting. The slides of PRISM and XKEYSCORE with references to the other programs make clear the data mining software is quite developed.
The sheer chutzpa of the NSA telling a journalist they can't search their own emails after all these disclosures is galling.
"There's no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately," NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker told me last week.
The system is “a little antiquated and archaic," she added.
Blacker called, asking me to narrow my request since the FOIA office can search emails only “person by person," rather than in bulk. The NSA has more than 30,000 employees.0 employees.
Well, gosh, I wonder if Cindy Blacker's tongue was sore the day after she said that? Maybe she is telling the truth. The slides we have show these programs to be circa 2008. Five years is ancient in computer years. There isn't one method, there's a dozen ways to do it? While it's true that her statement matches a screen shot of XKEYSCORE maybe there's something to that one at a time thing?
Wait! I have an idea, why don't we get the programmer to change XKEYSCORE to accept wild cards in the email user name field? You know, like Microsoft does?
I understand a wildcard search gives you irrelevant data items, but those are easy to discard. The idea that these programs aren't updated regularly defies anyone's understanding of computer system development. Who doesn't get program updates? Doesn't Adobe nag us regularly to update Flash and the Reader? Even Microsoft eventually gets around to releasing halfassed updates.
Today's outrage has a women googling pressure cookers and a man googling backpacks and the result is a visit of 6 armed officers to the house. And President Obama, Eric Holder, Jay Carney, Keith Alexander, James Clapper, Diane Feinstein, and Peter King want us to believe their bullshit?