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...