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Schneier: Break Up the NSA 324

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-leave-the-door-open-to-a-reunion-tour-in-twenty-years dept.
New submitter BrianPRabbit writes "Bruce Schneier proposes 'breaking up' the NSA. He suggests assigning the targeted hardware/software surveillance of enemy operations to U.S. Cyber Command. Further, the NSA's surveillance of Americans needs to be scaled back and placed under the control of the FBI. Finally, he says, is 'the deliberate sabotaging of security. The primary example we have of this is the NSA's BULLRUN program, which tries to "insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems, IT systems, networks and endpoint communication devices." This is the worst of the NSA's excesses, because it destroys our trust in the Internet, weakens the security all of us rely on and makes us more vulnerable to attackers worldwide. .... [T]he remainder of the NSA needs to be rebalanced so COMSEC (communications security) has priority over SIGINT (signals intelligence). Instead of working to deliberately weaken security for everyone, the NSA should work to improve security for everyone.'"
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Schneier: Break Up the NSA

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  • by alen (225700) on Friday February 21, 2014 @10:41AM (#46303623)

    the FBI is a federal police force, not a spy agency that collects intelligence

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @10:49AM (#46303677)

    FBI dropped "law enforcement" as one of their primary duties not long ago. They consider themselves a national security organ now:

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/01/05/fbi_drops_law_enforcement_as_primary_mission

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Friday February 21, 2014 @10:50AM (#46303691)

    "By law, the CIA is specifically prohibited from collecting foreign intelligence concerning the domestic activities of US citizens. Its mission is to collect information related to foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence. By direction of the president in Executive Order 12333 of 1981 and in accordance with procedures approved by the Attorney General, the CIA is restricted in the collection of intelligence information directed against US citizens. Collection is allowed only for an authorized intelligence purpose; for example, if there is a reason to believe that an individual is involved in espionage or international terrorist activities. The CIA's procedures require senior approval for any such collection that is allowed, and, depending on the collection technique employed, the sanction of the Director of National Intelligence and Attorney General may be required. These restrictions on the CIA have been in effect since the 1970s."

    Of course, that's from the CIA's website, so it's exactly what they want you to think...

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday February 21, 2014 @10:55AM (#46303729)

    the FBI is a federal police force, not a spy agency that collects intelligence

    The FBI's current mission statement:

    Our Mission [fbi.gov]

    As an intelligence-driven and a threat-focused national security organization with both intelligence and law enforcement responsibilities, the mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.

    You might want to follow the link and read the rest.

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday February 21, 2014 @11:07AM (#46303805)

    They added it back.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @12:51PM (#46304535)

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate

    They are absolutely NOT a police force. For very strict reasons the US did not institute a national police force, aka a gendarme, that you see in many other countries. The Federal Government has "police" forces for very specific issues that are national interest issues, such as the Coast Guard for policing US shores, the ATF for weapons smuggling, the Customs Service for international smuggling enforcement, the DEA for drug enforcement, the Border Patrol for border security, etc. However the bulk of police actions are left to communities and states as those are seen as local issues.

    The FBI is an investigative service. They have the authority to requisition local police help when investigating something, and their focus is usually on investigating federal crimes that have an affect upon the nation, such as white collar crime, organized crime etc.

    However, if you look at their priorities for investigations, you see that what would be classified as "crime" is number 5 on their list of priorities. Number 1 is anti-terrorism locally, and number 2 is counter-intelligence typically on US soil. So yes, they are classified as a spy ring, because it is their job to counter and apprehend the agents of foreign intelligence agencies. See the history of the FBI during WW2 and the Cold War, specifically under J Edgar Hoover's run; Hoover wasn't just concerned with the private lives of important individuals, he was instrumental in rooting out communist infiltrators, capturing Abhwer and SS agents brought to US soil, etc.

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