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Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be Abolished 297

First time accepted submitter MetalliQaZ writes "Last week, Dr. Joseph Bonneau learned that he had won the NSA's first annual "Science of Security (SoS) Competition." The competition, which aims to honor the best 'scientific papers about national security' as a way to strengthen NSA collaboration with researchers in academia, honored Bonneau for his paper on the nature of passwords. And how did Bonneau respond to being honored by the NSA? By expressing, in an honest and bittersweet blog post, his revulsion at what the NSA has become: 'Simply put, I don't think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form.'"
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Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be Abolished

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  • Politicians .... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 28, 2013 @08:51AM (#44405557)

    From the Winner of the prize:

    "And like many American citizens I’m ashamed we’ve let our politicians sneak the country down this path."

    From some of the politicians:

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) : "It’s called protecting America," Feinstein said at a Capitol Hill news conference.

    "Protecting America!" - that's right up there with "Think of the Children!"

    "Right now I think everyone should just calm down and understand this isn't anything that's brand new," Reid said.

    Al Gore
    In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?

    Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in a statement:

    "This type of secret bulk data collection is an outrageous breach of Americans’ privacy."

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he was "glad" the NSA was collecting phone records.

    "I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States," Graham said in an interview on "Fox and Friends."

    The "Catbert" quote....

    Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) also claimed that reports of the NSA collecting phone records was "nothing particularly new."

    "Every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this," Chambliss said. "And to my knowledge we have not had any citizen who has registered a complaint relative to the gathering of this information."

    Bold mine. I think Saxby doesn't understand "secret surveillance" means.

    Senator Ted Cruz
    Disturbing pattern emerging. Govt wants your DNA, prayer content & records?

    And lastly, Mike Lee:

    Mike Lee
    #NSA surveillance of #Verizon cell phone records illustrates why I voted against Patriot Act

    I think everyone who said he was "UnAmerican" or UnPatriotic" should apologize.

  • Re:Bonneau's paper (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wmac1 ( 2478314 ) on Sunday July 28, 2013 @09:20AM (#44405655)

    Very good work of destroying the whole point of privacy. And who the fuck allowed him access to 70 million passwords? Google? Shame on google then.

  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Sunday July 28, 2013 @09:58AM (#44405855)

    More accurately, the internet is part of the surveillance machine. Google is picked on regularly as they're the biggest collector of information, but they also have pretty much the best record for privacy.

  • Re:Profiling fail (Score:4, Interesting)

    by joebagodonuts ( 561066 ) <> on Sunday July 28, 2013 @09:59AM (#44405859) Homepage Journal
    Are you kidding me? The NSA loved this blog post. Hell, they may have even wrote it.

    In summary, it said NSA good, politicians in Washington bad. The same politicians who are now getting people riled up, all because they want to take the NSA down a notch or two.

    Snowden's "leaks" and the controversy in their wake, are part of a carefully thought-out campaign to take power away from the NSA.


  • Re:Profiling fail (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Sunday July 28, 2013 @10:19AM (#44405985) Journal

    His statement isn't a troll, though it is pithy. Remember also when S&P downgraded the US' credit rating. This administration loudly and proudly announced an IRS investigation into them.

    Displease the political masters, and they sic the 60,000+ laws on you. Certainly they must be violating something -- historically that's the purpose of myriad laws, so you can't move without violating something, which gives them an excuse to hall you in when you get uppity.

    Seriously, this is how corrupt nations operate. Nobody can move without violating laws. Because people like to move so they can make food to shove down their gullet, they have to violate these laws. This allows local officials to demand kickbacks to look the other way. The higher you get, the more kickbacks you take.

    Wrapping it in democracy just means politicians have to play games with public justifications and cover stories. Here's the kicker -- the laws can be perfectly valid, and still they get in the way such that the officials get paid to get back out of the way. All right out in the freaking open and legal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 28, 2013 @10:49AM (#44406163)

    Hash: SHA1

    Personally, I don't post here with an account anymore because slashdot is circling the drain lately and it depresses me. But I can understand that thinking, which is why I've started signing important posts. I'm not afraid of my government. They should be afraid of *me*.

    - - Anthony (0x076F9E89)
    Version: GnuPG v2.0.20 (GNU/Linux)

    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

  • Re:Don't forget (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Sunday July 28, 2013 @11:12AM (#44406277)
    It is not illegal to spy on other countries, just in other countries. I expect China to spy on us, I dont expect my own government to do it.
  • Re:Don't forget (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sqr(twg) ( 2126054 ) on Sunday July 28, 2013 @03:23PM (#44407745)

    They have actually been very ufront with what they are doing. They spy on anyone, as long as there's a 51 probablity that he/she is not an american. (source [])

    This is what the relevant part of the PRISM code actually looks like:

    boolean OK_to_spy(individual *TARGET) {
        if( US_POPULATION < 0.51 * DATABASE_SIZE)
            return TRUE;
            error("Database is too small.");

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay