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The NSA Is Looking For a Few Good Geeks 388

Posted by Soulskill
from the searching-for-the-next-snowden dept.
itwbennett writes "Dan Tynan noticed something curious when he was reading a TechCrunch story (about Google's mystery barges, as it happens). There was a banner ad promoting careers at the NSA — and this was no ad-serving network fluke. Tynan visited the TechCrunch site on three different machines, and saw an NSA ad every time. In one version of the ad, a male voice says, 'There are activities that I've worked on that make, you know, front page headlines. And I can say, I know all about that, I had a hand in that. The things that happen here at NSA really have national and world ramifications.'"
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The NSA Is Looking For a Few Good Geeks

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  • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:12PM (#45371685)

    "The things that happen here at NSA really have national and world ramifications."

    Like making the rest of the world distrust and hate the USA.

    • You had to be pretty dumb to have trusted us any time since there wasn't a soviet union to worry about anymore(or before then, but at least you had a good reason).

      • by Sarten-X (1102295)

        Maxim 29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.

        -The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries [wikipedia.org]

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:21PM (#45371805)

      Darn, I missed the ads cause of my adblocker.

    • by saihung (19097)

      You mean other countries get angry when we spy on their leaders? And then blame the person disclosing the spying instead of, you know, apologizing? Really?

    • by kthreadd (1558445) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:22PM (#45371825)

      "The things that happen here at NSA really have national and world ramifications."

      Like making the rest of the world distrust and hate the USA.

      They actually do quite a lot of other things as well there, like research into improving cryptography for example.

      • Give me a break. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:30PM (#45371903)

        They actually do quite a lot of other things as well there, like research into improving cryptography for example.

        Seriously? Improving it as in finding holes [nytimes.com] that they can exploit [nytimes.com] and tell no one else about? Or spending millions [nytimes.com] on research into how to create holes they can hope to get included [propublica.org] as encryption standards [propublica.org]?

        From the link above:

        The N.S.A.'s Sigint Enabling Project is a $250 million-a-year program that works with Internet companies to weaken privacy by inserting back doors into encryption products. This excerpt from a 2013 budget proposal outlines some methods the agency uses to undermine encryption used by the public.

        • Yes, but the NSA's problem, in all fairness, is that properly written 256-bit encryption is uncrackable. Many people have made jokes saying, "it is safe, unless the NSA wants in.", but the truth is, without an exploit, proper encryption is uncrackable and will remain so for a very long time.

          There are evil people in the world that they want to listen to, the problem is that the good people use the same tools as the evil people.

          What would you use for a solution?

          • Re:Give me a break. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by dgatwood (11270) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:52PM (#45372171) Journal

            Boots on the ground? It always worked before we had high tech. I mean, before there were phones, they had to plant people inside an organization to learn its secrets unless they just happened to get lucky enough to catch a courier. The fact that communication channels are back to being moderately secure is uninteresting. It's really just a correction of a weakness that high tech introduced in the first place.

            • by lgw (121541) on Friday November 08, 2013 @05:14PM (#45372413) Journal

              President Carter make a rule that the CIA can't employ unsavory characters as local operatives (e.g., we can't have an actual terrorist as a mole in a terrorist organization). Our human intelligence took a nosedive and never really recovered. Maybe it's time to fix that (if we haven't already), and just live without the NSA for a while.

              I've said it before but: defund the NSA, fire everyone, bulldoze the buildings, and let it serve as an example to other agencies about overreach. Sure, loss of SIGINT will be a problem, but the NSA has become a bigger problem. End it, and start over once you're sure it's really gone.

              • That'd be a great idea.

                And they won't use all the blackmail they have to stop it either.

                No, sir.

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        Yes and stacking the membership on standards bodies to make sure those improvements are not useful to the general public. Here will give you a great cryptographic cipher but make sure your key exchange process is hopeless borked. Screw the NSA we'd all be safer without them.

        And no we don't need them for international spying we have the CIA for that and they have their own signals intelligence groups. The best thing for the nation would be if we just shuttered the whole agency tomorrow.

    • There are activities that I've worked on that make, you know, front page headlines. And I can say, I know all about that, I had a hand in that.

      Yes, that headline reads "New NSA revelations reveal activities that violate our constitutional right to privacy" Not a headline I'd want to be associated with.

      • Where in the Constitution does it say we have a right to privacy?

        I'm not saying we *shouldn't* have it, I'm just asking where it actually says it.

        • by JohnFen (1641097) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:55PM (#45372205)

          In the context of the NSA's activities, my answer is "the fourth amendment."

        • by rk (6314) on Friday November 08, 2013 @05:06PM (#45372329) Journal

          It doesn't say it directly, but one of the big reasons that some of the people responsible for the constitution didn't want the Bill of Rights was for that reason: They didn't want those to be interpreted as the only rights people had. To placate that argument is why the 9th amendment exists. It turns out that those people were exactly right because many make the assumption those are your only rights, even WITH the 9th amendment in place.

          Courts have repeatedly held that there is a de facto right to some level of privacy, regardless of its lack of constitutional enumeration, in part because it's highly implied by several of the amendments, especially the 4th.

        • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Friday November 08, 2013 @05:16PM (#45372441) Homepage

          Just an important reminder:

          The US Constitution does not GIVE us rights. It enumerates areas where we allow the government to infringe upon our rights for the good of the nation. The first ten Amendments define some of our inalienable rights but are not a complete listing. Just because the right of privacy is not mentioned is not to imply it does not exist and cannot be claimed.

          While I am sure most people on this site (and probably the poster to whom I am responding as well) are aware of this, I feel it is still an important distinction to be made. Our language dictates our thoughts and actions; let's be clear on this very important matter. We live in an era when there is an increasing belief that our governments have rightful sway over all aspects of our lives and are the source of all corporal power. This is in direct contradiction to the intent of the so-called "Founding Fathers", where the freedom and liberty of the individual were paramount and were only sacrificed - by the individuals - for the advantage of the common weal.

          That is, the direction of power is from the people down to the government, and not the other way around. The people dictate, not the politicians. We willingly give, they do not grudgingly grant. Take and hold onto your rights; they are yours from birth, not a gift bestowed upon you by self-important men.

    • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:31PM (#45371921)

      There's a podcast interviewing former NSA officer Brian Snow [pauldotcom.com] that was recorded before the Snowden leaks, and provides some valuable perspective on what the NSA does. I am probably going to get modded and/or flamed to oblivion for saying this, but listening to that podcast made me believe that not everything the NSA does is bad.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:49PM (#45372137)

        The Nazi war machine contributed to a several engineering accomplishments in history. Does that make World War 2 any less bad?

        Not being evil (or not 100% evil) is not an excuse for allowing evil people to take advantage of a seemingly unstoppable tool.

      • by number11 (129686) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:50PM (#45372145)

        I am probably going to get modded and/or flamed to oblivion for saying this, but listening to that podcast made me believe that not everything the NSA does is bad.

        Of course not. Very few things in life are all black or all white. The NSA is like the neighbor who poisons any dog that comes onto his property, and you're pretty sure he shoplifts, but if you need a hand hoisting an engine or a ride to the store, he's always willing to help.

        That doesn't mean he shouldn't be locked up, though.

      • by WWJohnBrowningDo (2792397) on Friday November 08, 2013 @05:10PM (#45372369)

        The choice isn't between having the NSA or flushing that $10 billion down the toilet every year. The choice is between having the NSA or increasing the NASA budget by 50%. The choice is between having the NSA or better endowing social security. The choice is between having the NSA or paying down the national debt.

        You're right, not everything they do is bad, but what little good they have done is trivial compared to what $10 billion should have contributed to our society each year.

        • The choice is between having the NSA or paying down the national debt.

          That's not one of the choices. The NSA budget hasn't been much bigger than 2% of the DEFICIT in a long time.

          If the NSA budget were zeroed and the money just not spent on anything else, you'd barely notice a change in either the federal budget or the deficit.

          • by WWJohnBrowningDo (2792397) on Friday November 08, 2013 @07:22PM (#45373477)

            I said "paying down", not "paid off". 1 cent paid towards the debt is paying it down; $10 billion towards it is still paying it down.

            If the NSA budget were zeroed and the money just not spent on anything else, you'd barely notice a change in either the federal budget or the deficit.

            If I used my entire paycheck to pay down my mortgage, I'd barely notice a change. I think I'll just stop paying my mortgage then.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by squiggleslash (241428)

      For all Its faults, the NSA is more of a flawed character than an evil one. It does have a particular job to do, the job it's supposed to do is a worthwhile one, and for the most part "our"* criticism of it has to do with its methods, not its mandate. We do, actually, want to know what foreign governments are up to, especially in terms of what those governments might be planning that severely affects America's interests. We do, actually, want our government to know what terrorists are up to, as part of a c

      • A person I had an extremely high opinion of began working there in the mid-90s. A few years later, s/he hinted very vaguely of something unethical that was going on there but which s/he was not directly involved in. I knew better than to ask further about it, because I knew I'd get no answer.

        We've apparently drifted apart since then, but I sometimes wonder how all of this stuff is affecting this person.

      • by JohnFen (1641097) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:58PM (#45372233)

        For all Its faults, the NSA is more of a flawed character than an evil one

        We are what we do. The NSA is doing evil, regardless of what their intentions are.

      • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday November 08, 2013 @05:11PM (#45372381)

        For all Its faults, the NSA is more of a flawed character than an evil one.

        Breaking the law and a patent disregard constitutional rights is a "flaw"? It's not "evil" to make a secret court that makes secret laws that nobody is allowed to see? What the NSA is engaged in is an egregious exercise in government spying and spending "gone wild". Running unchecked and unrestrained. How the hell does anyone get tax dollars approved to build a replica of a Holodeck?

        We are not talking about a simple matter of other countries complaining they saw an SR71 blackbird over their air space, or that the shot down a US spy drone that wandered over their borders. We are talking about a government entity which has broken many laws and side-stepped the rules and regulations in place which were designed to prevent this exact thing from happening.

        The NSA and it's ilk have set up a system with a generic rubber stamp where they can excuse everything they do because "It got approved, see the stamp?". How is it a "flaw" that the public cannot lie under oath, yet the NSA director is somehow excused from that? No, sorry. I don't see anything reasonable about the "job" they did. Reason left a long time ago and now we have a runaway train doing whatever it wants with no regard to the law. I'm sure there's plenty we don't know about yet.

    • The interesting thing about security, is when things don't happen is when you do you job well.
      Oh look we found this guy who was getting radicalized. We tell the FBI. Then either he gets arrested or he is monitored so heavily that he will not try anything.

      The general public say, Yo NSA stop spying on people, it is not like there are a bunch of credible plots anyways.

    • "The things that happen here at NSA really have national and world ramifications."

      Like making the rest of the world distrust and hate the USA.

      Don't forget the rendition, torture, indefinite imprisonment and missile strikes on aspirin factories.

  • America (Score:4, Interesting)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:12PM (#45371687) Homepage Journal

    Enough advertising overcomes any negative consequences of your actions.

    • Re:America (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:38PM (#45372005)

      Enough advertising overcomes any negative consequences of your actions.

      Pretty much this.!

      By "owning" it in advertising and public speeches and press releases, they hope to pull a "Toyota" maneuver.

      (When Toyota was facing run-away vehicles and brake problems with spectacular crashes, they began an ad campaign touting their safety. They are still at it today with a drumbeat of ads telling how safe their cars are and totally ignoring the massive recalls they were forced into. I suspect Toyota learned the technique from Iomega which did the same thing in the face of their Famous Click of Death [wikipedia.org] drive series).

      I predicted this some months ago. I suspect going forward they will just start saying in effect: "Yeah, we read your mail. Get over it." Now that its out in the open, they will become bolder and brasher, and no mere legal barriers will stand in their way, (not that they ever did). There are just enough useful idiots out there that believe this is a "good thing" that the NSA will probably get away with this tactic.

      Technical solutions are going to have to be devised, better encryption, multi-path routing, etc. And instead of welcoming their contributions, crypto developers are going to have to understand that they can't be trusted.

  • by X0563511 (793323) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:12PM (#45371689) Homepage Journal

    They fire everyone, and now they have to hire people? Imagine that.

    • by icebike (68054)

      They fire everyone, and now they have to hire people? Imagine that.

      Who got fired? (Other than Snowden). Even Snowden's company still in under contract.

  • i wonder... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ganjadude (952775) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:13PM (#45371697) Homepage
    why the NSA would need to seek out new team members, you would think they already know who the brightest and best are from the data collected!
    • There was a purge....
    • Well for one.
      I doubt there is a connection between their HR systems and their other systems.
      Secondly, the best and brightest will not probably be too happy if government officials knock on their door, and "offer them" a government job.

  • Good geeks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jez9999 (618189) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:15PM (#45371733) Homepage Journal

    At this point, no "good" geek would work for the NSA.

    • Re:Good geeks? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fwipp (1473271) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:19PM (#45371781)

      I like this post, because I can't tell if it means
      "No honorable person would work for the NSA"
      or
      "Anyone applying to the NSA is out to betray them."

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        Except....if statement 2 is true, then statement 1 isn't.

      • Some geeks are not so political and would jump on being able to work with supercomputers and get paid for it.

        After WWII we got a lot of Rocket Scientists. Did these ex Nazi's have a change of heart? or they were just interesting go where there was interesting work for them to do. While working for the Nazi's they probably didn't care about the politics, but they liked the work, the same when they worked for the US for the cold war.

        • Re:Good geeks? (Score:4, Informative)

          by JohnFen (1641097) on Friday November 08, 2013 @05:02PM (#45372289)

          This is exactly right, and those kinds of geeks are not "good" geeks. They are a kind of evil themselves.

          Your rocket scientist reference is both correct and a good example of that: Oppenheimer famously replied to someone asking if he was bothered by the fact that his work was being used to kill lots of innocent people and his response was that his only worry was getting them to go up. It was someone else's job to worry about where they come down.

          That's pure evil, right there.

          • Re:Good geeks? (Score:4, Informative)

            by Galatamon (1771768) on Friday November 08, 2013 @05:34PM (#45372625)
            Pretty sure you're thinking of Von Braun [youtu.be].
          • Re:Good geeks? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by metlin (258108) on Friday November 08, 2013 @06:06PM (#45372943) Journal

            You're an idiot.

            That was von Braun, for one. For another, Oppenheimer was aghast at the destruction caused by the atomic bomb (he quoted the Bhagvad Gita, "I am become Death -- the destroyer of worlds." after the Trinity Test) and actively campaigned for non-proliferation.

            If anything, his sympathies towards the other sides caused him to be a martyr to McCarthyism. Hell, even von Braun commented that, "In England, Oppenheimer would have been knighted."

            Oppenheimer is the poster child for how scientists have little control over the political consequences and use of their discoveries, and how the political institutions would happily discard them once they're wrung dry.

    • Re:Good geeks? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:20PM (#45371799) Homepage

      At this point, no "good" geek would work for the NSA.

      Define 'good' and define 'geek'.

      If you think there aren't people who work in the tech field who will say "I'm totally in favor of this, because it protects us from the terrorists", you're likely sadly mistaken.

      Geeks aren't some uniform group of people who all believe the same things. Reading Slashdot should show you that quite readily in about 2 minutes.

      Many of us might say "yeah, not on your life", but I bet almost as many might say "sure, I'm in, sounds fun".

      • by s.petry (762400)
        I agree that geeks are not uniform. Sociopaths and Psychopaths that don't give a rats ass who they screw over as long as they Get PAID! come immediately to mind as people that will apply for NSA jobs. This is in addition of course to a whole lot of people that see it as a way to make a decent living, you know, because McDonald's does not pay very well. Lots of other people are simply ignorant to the happenings and still believe that there are all of these bogey men to hunt.
      • by icebike (68054)

        Well your average geek (use what ever characteristics you want for the definition) tends to be a bit brighter than your average dim-bulb office pencil pusher or mill-rat.

        They can look to recent examples and notice that we aren't safer from terrorists, that the total surveillance mentality hasn't served us well, and bomber set bombs even when the Russians warn us about them in advance. Furthermore simply talking in code while posting on slashdot (and 3 zillion other forums) can transmit messages for any so

    • by kthreadd (1558445)

      At this point, no "good" geek would work for the NSA.

      You can actually do quite a lot of good things at the NSA. Research and development of cryptography and cyber attack preventions for example.

      • And if those advances are used to violate the Constitution and perhaps impose tyranny, are they still "a lot of good things"?

      • At this point, no "good" geek would work for the NSA.

        You can actually do quite a lot of good things at the NSA. Research and development of cryptography and cyber attack preventions for example.

        Besides the fact it seems the NSA is far more interested in fucking up cryptography, what with their mandatory backdoors and all, what good is that research and development if the only people allowed to access or use it are TLA agents?

        Side note: This is at least the second post where you've made this claim about the "good side" of the No Such Agency, without citing a source that would verify any of it.

        Might seem kinda shill-y to some people here.

    • by robmv (855035)

      Why not? when an institution is failing in their duty because of bad management, corruption, whatever, it is the time for the good people to be part of it. Things don't get fixed by not participating.

    • And I'm not sure I'd want to entrust National Security to anyone who browses the web without an adblocker in place...

    • At this point, no "good" geek would work for the NSA.

      For certain values of "good." Those values aren't necessarily shared by all good people.

    • That depends on whether 'good' refers to morality or aptitude. Though, admittedly, when it refers to aptitude the sort of person that would qualify commonly has an NSA non-compliant set of morals.

  • by cruff (171569) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:16PM (#45371743) Homepage
    Given that the NSA is recording everything, and probably has broken all your encryption keys, you would think the NSA would already know who to target for employment. Thus the obvious conclusion is that these ads are fakes or honeypots.
    • by icebike (68054)

      Given that the NSA is recording everything, and probably has broken all your encryption keys, you would think the NSA would already know who to target for employment. Thus the obvious conclusion is that these ads are fakes or honeypots.

      My thoughts exactly. Even hovering your mouse over those ads is probably recorded.
      This can't be much besides a "trial balloon" to see how much "chatter" they can induce.

    • Given that the NSA is recording everything, and probably has broken all your encryption keys, you would think the NSA would already know who to target for employment. Thus the obvious conclusion is that these ads are fakes or honeypots.

      If that is your "conclusion," then my conclusion is that you probably aren't the sort of talent they are looking for.

      Unless your resume is encoded in your encryption keys, or is an attachment to your emails, I don't see any of that as being useful as employment screening in terms of talent. That is even assuming that they have done all that. Your post is nonsense.

  • Not worth my time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anon-Admin (443764) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:17PM (#45371753) Homepage Journal

    I looked into the NSA and the CIA. neither pay anywhere near what the private sector pays. Both want to pump you up on "Doing your national duty", "Serving your country", and/or "Protecting your fellow Americans"

    If they want IT talent, they need to pony up the cash.

    • ^ This... I looked into the CIA after 9/11, I also looked into the military (being a commercial helicopter pilot, I thought I could help).

      Neither of them are offering anything remotely close to what I'd call "reasonable pay" for what they want in return.

      They would have to double it to interest me, triple it to get me jumping up and down about it.

      They will fill their quota, but that doesn't mean they'll fill it with the best and brightest.

  • by Frobnicator (565869) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:19PM (#45371771) Journal
    Like most of us on /., we have a group of brilliant individuals. Occasionally we come up with some excellent but immoral or illegal ideas that would very easily separate people from their money. These are different from our typical ideas that manage to separate people from their money, as we are all paid well for the work we do.

    Sometimes we will flesh these immoral or illegal business plans out a little bit, realize just what is involved in the process, and then sigh, "I could be rich if I didn't have any ethics."

    Many people make the news every day. Most often these include major scams and crimes or immoral behavior.

    Yes, there is work to be had and money to be found in those activities, and you can make global news from them. If you don't have any ethics.

  • Hello ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by PPH (736903) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:19PM (#45371777)

    ... my name is Ted Stowden. I'd like some information on a career in your fine organization. No need to send me anything. I know which server its on.

    • Hello, my name is Mr. Nedwons and I come from... someplace far away. Definitely nowhere near Moscow.

  • So, they are recruiting experts in a community that almost exclusively supports Snowden and despises the NSA's various mass-spying-on-civilians programs?

    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:43PM (#45372069)

      That's a very myopic view of the situation.

      People with expertise in data systems have a wide range of opinions and come from a variety of backgrounds. There is no monolithic community that is implied with possession of this knowledge.

      Even if you are in the subset that supports Snowden you don't have to have the opinion that what the NSA does is fundamentally wrong. It may be that all it really needs is more enlightened political leadership and restructured laws. After all even the most ideal free societies have opponents and will have a need to protect themselves to ensure their continuation.

  • The NSA advertises jobs all the time in a variety of formats. They have recruitment booths at technical conferences, internships, etc.. They have a whole web site [nsa.gov] and all. What is particularly newsworthy about this?
    • by Animats (122034) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:52PM (#45372169) Homepage

      Right. They've been open about it for years. NSA has a long history in computing.

      At one time, going to NSA HQ was very mysterious, and travel expenses were paid with a check from a furniture company. But they gave up on that years ago. Now, like the CIA, they have signs outside.

      Until the USSR went down, all NSA really cared about was what the USSR was doing. Anything else had lower priority. After the USSR went down, there were lots of retirements and layoffs. After 9/11, everything changed. Suddenly the threat was from little groups, not a superpower. Huge internal realignment. Much more pressure for timely info (the USSR was a slow-moving opponent) and for data sharing with law enforcement. That's when NSA became more intrusive.

      • by hubie (108345)
        I suppose I may click through to see what the actual ad said, because the person above suggested that it was at least indirectly addressing the Snowden situation, but for years I've seen them heavily active in recruitment and even small business outreach. If you go to a technical conference expo, it wouldn't be a surprise to see them have a booth, or the CIA, or FBI, or whatever. I think most people don't realize how big of a place the NSA is. Like all other large institutions (National Institutes of Hea
  • by komodo685 (2920329) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:21PM (#45371813)
    I know this former SysAdmin in Russia who had to resort to tech support FFS. Already has clearance. He'd be just what you deserve.
  • Old joke... (Score:5, Funny)

    by jayveekay (735967) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:24PM (#45371845)

    If you want to apply for a job at the NSA, just pick up the phone. Any phone.

  • There's an American dude named Edward, currently hanging out in Russia, who's currently looking.

  • Post WWII the NSA/CIA and intelligence agencies of the free world have been vital for keeping the peace. I don't see that changing anytime soon. We are all likely alive at least in part due to their actions.

    • That was then. This is now. Most likely they spied on the USSR, and those people are retired or dead by now. Also, I'd like some verifiable proof, after all they are an agency that sees no need to tell the truth, before I go all gushy on how the agency of lies. If the proof shows that some people there had been amazing in the past then I would be sad for that since the NSA would have fallen since then, if not it's just gone from ineffective to horrible and ineffective.

  • by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:32PM (#45371927)

    Working for the NSA or any of their ilk is probably like any other job: day-to-day routine stuff and some really cool shit. With, of course, the proviso that you can never breathe a word of it to anybody, and they'd rather you not discuss the fact that you even work there.

    The MI5 recruiting web site discusses some of this [mi5.gov.uk]. If you want the approval of others on what a neat job you have, think again. This certainly limits the pool of available candidates. I wonder what it means for the intelligence community in general.

    Hang on a sec...there's somebody at the door. GIDYW*(YW*DHNDW

    NO CARRIER

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      So is the day to to day routine stuff violating people's constitutional rights or is that the exciting stuff?

  • I want to know what exactly they are paying in exchange for being able to look at yourself in the mirror.

  • Does an employment contract come with the perk of war crimes indemnification in writing? Just curious.

  • 1) the NSA is recruiting?

    2) the NSA is spying on everybody and recruiting by injecting banner ads into TCP streams to recruit TechCrunch readers?

    3) a banner ad company (unnamed) is serving NSA ads to anybody that searches or surfs pages where NSA occurs more than 5 times, then uses cookies, flash cookies, unique browser characteristics, and any other form of persistent storage and leaked information to continue to serve these ads across browsing sessions?

    4) That Dan Tynan, a TechCrunch writer and O'R

  • Snowden worked for a company that the NSA had subcontracted IT support to. Having seen this blow up in their face, they are dumping all those contracts and bringing it in house. Now this will mean that it is under very heavy security clearance and surveillance, but they need to do it quickly hence the need for direct advertising.

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:56PM (#45372213) Homepage

    'There are activities that I've worked on that make, you know, front page headlines. And I can say, I know all about that, I had a hand in that.

    That's silly/ There are not many headlines in the last few years that the NSA is proud of. And if you work at the NSA and had a hand in something that made front page headlines, you probably aren't allowed to talk about it anyway.

    My friends who work at the NSA hate when the NSA comes up as a topic, because it is never good news. They just have to hide their heads and walk out of the room. Sometimes that is because they are not allowed to talk about it. Other times it is because they are sick of hearing the flak.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday November 08, 2013 @05:00PM (#45372247)

    We all know that so called ad targeting works by building up profiles on people intended to categorize their interests -- very much like the NSA's own automated profiling and analysis systems. But the profiling system can't tell the difference between a favorable interest and a disgusted interest (much like they can't tell if you've already bought those shoes you were searching for two weeks ago and so keep showing you ads for shoes).

    That they've decided to show the guy recruiting ads because he's been reading articles about how the NSA is a bunch of nationalistic spying assholes is the cherry on top, a perfect demonstration how pervasive surveillance can't actually understand the intent of people and thus will have an overwhelming percentage of false positives.

    If real people at the FBI can't even tell the different between someone reporting a threat against themselves and a threat against the FBI [theguardian.com] profiling systems can only automate keystone cop level of surveillance effectiveness.

  • Do we really have proof we can verify that the NSA is actually worth having around?

  • by themushroom (197365) on Friday November 08, 2013 @05:10PM (#45372359) Homepage

    "'There are activities that I've worked on that make, you know, front page headlines."

    Though not always in a positive light. Come join us and be part of the problem!
    Their employment ad slogan should be: We know you want to... we really do know this.

  • by epine (68316) on Saturday November 09, 2013 @03:26PM (#45378365)

    An old joke nearly served. The NSA is not a place where God coddles his minions.

    It seems there was this priest who just loved to play golf, but he had been very busy for many months and had not been able to get away to go golfing. Well, one Sunday morning he woke up and felt he just HAD to go golfing. The weather was just beautiful.

    He called up the Bishop and claimed he had a really bad case of laryngitis and couldn't preach, so the Bishop told him to rest for several days. He then got out his clubs and headed off for the golf course.

    He set up at the first hole, making sure no one was there to see him playing hooky, and blasted the ball with his wood. It was a beautiful shot! It went straight and true. It bounced, and bounced (right up onto the green) and rolled its way closer... and closer... a hole-in-one! The priest jumped up and down in his excitement, praising the Lord and shouting hallelujahs!

    He struts off to the green, collects his ball, and tees off at the second hole, repeating his performance on the first hole, much to his astounded delight. All this time St. Peter and God have been watching him from the gates of heaven. St. Peter has finally seen enough to pique his curiosity. "Lord," he says, "this priest seems to be a real trouble maker. He ignored his congregation and even lied to go golfing. Now you reward him with a hole-in-one! Why?"

    "Well, think about it for half a second, you sanctimonious prat. Who can he tell?"

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