NSA considering automation, reducing admins by 90%

The National Security Agency has chosen to reduce its number of system administrators by around 90%, limiting the number of people with access to secret or classified information. Rather than relying on humans, Director Keith Alexander’s plan is to automate much of the work instead, as he told attendees at a cybersecurity conference in New York City.

What we're in the process of doing - not fast enough - is reducing our system administrators by about 90 percent.

This comes in the aftermath of former contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks about surveillance (which may have used Microsoft's SharePoint); he had previously worked for the Agency as a system administrator.

Efforts to downsize the number of system administrators had apparently been ongoing since before Snowden shared PRISM’s existence with the world, though have been accelerated as a result.

The logical feeling behind this is that computers are “more defensible and secure”, though Alexander defended the NSA’s conduct as well. He wrapped up his speech at the conference, encouraging listeners to “get the facts” as the NSA’s conduct had been “grossly mischaracterized” by the press. Of course, you could just work for the NSA...

Source: Reuters

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31 Comments

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I think Russia's idea is better, just go back to typewriters, pen and paper. If it is on a computer, and somebody wants it bad enough, they will get it, and they can take copies of it to re-distribute at their leisure without affecting the original copy, so you won't even know you were attacked unless your NIDS/HIDS system picks it up or a server admin checks the log file.

Brightens my day to know the illegal US spy operation is working hard to keep us in the dark. And the US calls themselves the 'victims' when they get attacked by terrorists - how dare they.

You believe it's just the US doing this?
At least the US isnt as massively spying on their own citizens, unlike a sh*tload of other countries (also 'free' western countries). Or do we all massively ignore the "If <subject> != American.Citizen"?

WaveZero said,
Just means they have more secrets to hide.

EXACTLY! The solution shouldn't be to prevent people from ever finding out your spying on your own citizens... It should be to STOP spying on your own citizens...

The people working for the NSA, the military in general and their supporters are the worst kind of scum. They do far more damage than any "terrorist" could ever do.

What a lazy response.

They violate human rights and international law on a massive scale without giving a second thought to the damage they do. The world is an infinitely more dangerous place because of the actions of the US military and its espionage arm. The people involved are immoral scum and that's an understatement.

As I soldier I can tell you WE DO NOT!! The US soldiers are mostly(99%) honorable men and women who joined to defend freedom for all. It's governments that do all the underhanded crap and use the military as a tool for their agendas. The US soldiers are the ones who have paid for it in blood, not you! They went and fought for freedom and then get home only to be abandoned by their own Country and spit on by the likes of you..

billstelling said,
As I soldier I can tell you WE DO NOT!! The US soldiers are mostly(99%) honorable men and women who joined to defend freedom for all. It's governments that do all the underhanded crap and use the military as a tool for their agendas. The US soldiers are the ones who have paid for it in blood, not you! They went and fought for freedom and then get home only to be abandoned by their own Country and spit on by the likes of you..

The worst crime was realized by people that said "i was just following orders".
And not, it is not about "freedom". For example, Arabia Saudi is one of the worst (freedom speaking) and fanatic State.... however, it is allied and best friend of USA.

Anyways, it is up for every single person to measure what he/she did bad or good.

jakem1 said,
What a lazy response.

They violate human rights and international law on a massive scale without giving a second thought to the damage they do. The world is an infinitely more dangerous place because of the actions of the US military and its espionage arm. The people involved are immoral scum and that's an understatement.


Just think, without our military you wouldn't have been able to post this pathetic drivel. You should be grateful.

We are free men in this country and those of us who served can tell you that we have the right to refuse any unlawful order.
Have some used the 'I was just following orders' excuse, of course they have and they were held accountable for their actions. That is why everyone knows that saying.
The U.S. military trains and expects it's members to act with honor and integrity at all times, on duty or not.
Do governments play games and use good men for bad things without their knowing? of course.. But I can tell for a fact that when things like that come to light we go out of our way to stop it and correct things. A good man has no problem standing up and saying WTF is this, and our military is full of good men and women just like that.

What part of "you spy on everybody with no oversight or recourse and in direct contravention of the highest laws of the land" is grossly mischaracterised?

mrbester said,
What part of "you spy on everybody with no oversight or recourse and in direct contravention of the highest laws of the land" is grossly mischaracterised?

+1

skiver said,
"The logical feeling behind this is that computers are “more defensible and secure”"

Hello Skynet...

LOL! I just said the same thing... Definitely very SkyNet...