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NSA Risks Talent Exodus Amid Morale Slump, Trump Fears (reuters.com) 251

Dustin Volz and Warren Strobel, writing for Reuters: The National Security Agency risks a brain-drain of hackers and cyber spies due to a tumultuous reorganization and worries about the acrimonious relationship between the intelligence community and President Donald Trump, according to current and former NSA officials and cybersecurity industry sources. Half-a-dozen cybersecurity executives told Reuters they had witnessed a marked increase in the number of U.S. intelligence officers and government contractors seeking employment in the private sector since Trump took office on Jan. 20. One of the executives, who would speak only on condition of anonymity, said he was stunned by the caliber of the would-be recruits. They are coming from a variety of government intelligence and law enforcement agencies, multiple executives said, and their interest stems in part from concerns about the direction of U.S intelligence agencies under Trump. Retaining and recruiting talented technical personnel has become a top national security priority in recent years as Russia, China, Iran and other nation states and criminal groups have sharpened their cyber offensive abilities. NSA and other intelligence agencies have long struggled to deter some of their best employees from leaving for higher-paying jobs in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.
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NSA Risks Talent Exodus Amid Morale Slump, Trump Fears

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  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @10:49AM (#53953215) Homepage
    This is completely anecdotal; I'm a mathematician and I know a lot of people who work for the NSA. Almost every single one of them right now is quietly or not so quietly looking for other work. At least one of them has an undated resignation letter in their desk ready to go if they are asked to do anything that they find morally questionable (and this is someone who has generally defended NSA's actions in the past). The morale at NSA right now is in a massive slump.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @10:55AM (#53953259)

      Then he should have left after Snowden. Your friend is a liar and a hypocrite.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

        Or maybe the bar for what is morally questionable for Joshua's friend is just at a different point than Edward's. While what Snowden revealed was awful, it wasn't entirely unexpected. It makes you wonder how much worse (and maybe unexpected) it can get if there's still a middle ground for Joshua's friend to operate in with a clear conscious.

        • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:23AM (#53953473) Homepage Journal

          While what Snowden revealed was awful, it wasn't entirely unexpected.

          That's not damning with faint praise, that's just damning...

          • Wasn't the basic Snowden TLDR summary; when huge mass surveillance takes place, the people who make it work have more access then limited by the controls put on top? That's a moral middle ground I could theoretically operate under.

            I could even operate collecting information for a government that that analyses information collected (damning or otherwise) to set policy and strategy.

            I would, however, quietly resign if I got the impression that strategy was actually set first without intelligence and that intel

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:38AM (#53953589)

          While what Snowden revealed was awful, it wasn't entirely unexpected.

          No, it wasn't unexpected, but prior to that, there was plausible deniability. We all suspected, but couldn't be sure.

          Now we know (without any tinfoil) they routinely commit criminal activities against the people of USA, and since none of them have been arrested and charged, everyone can be pretty sure that it's not going to stop.

          Snowden hasn't even been pardoned yet. Right now, all we have are presidents supporting the NSA in its conflict against The People, and when your boss says "keep doing that" then you're going to keep doing that. Pardoning Snowden would be a no-brainer fundamental easy thing to do, whether you're going to actually have the org start flying straight, or even just pay lip service and continue the criminal activities under the radar. Until it happens, NSA is perceived as openly anti-American. If you work for the NSA, most people think that you're a crookl, even if you're just a receptionist with no power who never breaks the law.

          Yes, they probably do things for us. But they have this unresolved scandal. Nothing Nixon did could ever possibly matter until Watergate was resolved. Justice must be served.

          • NSA is perceived as openly anti-American. If you work for the NSA, most people think that you're a crookl, even if you're just a receptionist with no power who never breaks the law.

            Yes, they probably do things for us. But they have this unresolved scandal.

            These thoughts make me think: Can the scandal be resolved without quantifying the things that were "done for us" or causing irreparable damage?
            Do people of similar thought believe in the construct of good vs. evil where evil is evil all the time and good is good all the time? Are some people predominantly evil or do you have to be to work for the NSA?
            Who or "what" would have to "go away" for the NSA to work in the interest of Americans for people like you.

            *Disclaimer, I am not an American

      • by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:20AM (#53953455)
        Not everything the NSA (or other agencies) do is morally questionable, unless you're somehow of the belief that the entire business of intelligence is so. I spent several years working for NSA/CSS, and I was never asked to do anything remotely questionable. That said, I did not doubt that others were likely pushed to do questionable things in the name of the War on Terror. I liked to think that I would have had the courage to stand up and so no if I had been so asked, though I never was. Should I have quit, on the basis of a hypothetical, knowing that the work I was doing was actively helping save the lives of innocent people?
        • A lot, maybe half, of the NSA actually works on defensive security measures. They're behind a lot of modern crypto and implementation and actually push for backdoor-less crypto. The surveillance and analysis ends of the business get more publicity because defensive measures "aren't as cool".
      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        Wow. How is it that ACs all have mind-reading crystal balls?

      • Then he should have left after Snowden.

        When faced with a moral quandary, to just quit and walk away is not often the best course of action. It is usually better to stay and try to fix the problem. We need ethical people at the NSA, and the public's interest is ill served by the best people leaving.

        • I disagree entirely. Walking away is *always* the best course of action, unless you're in a position of power (and even that's questionable, because if you're the NSA director and refuse to "do your job" you'll probably be sacked).

          Decisions and policy always come from the top. If you're a low-level peon (as any engineer is; face it, this is not a prestigious profession with any real power), then you either do what your superiors tell you, or you resign, or you get fired. There is no "stay and try to fix

      • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:12PM (#53955125)

        Everyone has a different bar; obviously, Snowden's and your standards are different from this unnamed guy's. It's not black and white.

        What's remarkable about this article is how apparently bad the morale is at the NSA now. So obviously, a lot of NSA insiders were at least somewhat OK with things post-Snowden (or with the things Snowden revealed), but now they're *not* OK with how things are going now with Trump in office.

        It's kinda like the Mafia: even they have their limits. They'll happily do "protection" rackets, prostitution, etc., but do something that victimizes young children and suddenly they're morally opposed. (A lot of hardened criminals are like this, which is why child predators have to be kept separate from them in prison.) This isn't to say NSA employees are like the Mafia or other hardened criminals, I'm just pointing out the parallel: everyone has different standards, and at some point can be pushed too far, or asked to do something that's beyond their morals, and that appears to be what we're seeing here.

      • by epine ( 68316 )

        Then he should have left after Snowden. Your friend is a liar and a hypocrite.

        But it's still three pay grades above being a troll and an asshole.

    • Why Now? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by PackMan97 ( 244419 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:01AM (#53953297) Homepage
      With Snowden and Binney and Drake before him...why now? It's not as if the stuff that these folks are being asked to do is changed in any appreciable way.
      • Re:Why Now? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:49AM (#53953689) Homepage Journal

        Well, an agency like the NSA does do more than one thing, you know.

        This is called the selective attention fallacy. We all know that the NSA does many legitimate and non-controversial things. We just act like everyone there is involved in the controversial ones.

        • From the media, we see a tone of "alternate facts" "I already know more" "these other people say" - how would you feel getting a government salary and you feel your work is not appreciated.

          The NSA is basically a government organization that is built around science and information. Their entire existence hinges on perceived trust, reliability and revolutionary information. I am sure there are uncomfortable truths that might often fly in the face of preconceived notions. I could see that morale would be a pro

          • by hey! ( 33014 )

            Well, my point is that specifics matter. I don't think we should issue blanket condemnations of the NSA, nor blanket pats on the back.

            What they do is important, but also full of temptations for abuse. They're a lot like police in that respect. The police play a critical role in our society, but that doesn't make them beyond criticism, in fact quite the opposite. People on either "side" (the very notion of "side" is broken) can't seem to grasp the necessity for standards that are both tough AND fair.

        • by Agripa ( 139780 )

          Well, an agency like the NSA does do more than one thing, you know.

          This is called the selective attention fallacy. We all know that the NSA does many legitimate and non-controversial things. We just act like everyone there is involved in the controversial ones.

          Sure the NSA does more than one thing. One part of the agency subverts encryption systems. Another part of the agency pretends to secure encryption systems while helping the other part subvert them. Even NIST managed to get dragged into providing a false sense of security at the cost of their own reputation.

      • by guises ( 2423402 )
        One possibility is being told to do something wrong. Another possibility is being ignored or prevented from doing something right. This guy [washingtonpost.com] quit the CIA because Trump ignores the work that they do and instead makes policy decisions based off of whatever nonsense he reads on Breitbart. That's gotta be pretty demoralizing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Good! If the NSA get destroyed as a side effect of Trump, then it was all worth it...

    • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:13AM (#53953397) Homepage

      This is completely anecdotal; I'm a mathematician and I know a lot of people who work for the NSA. Almost every single one of them right now is quietly or not so quietly looking for other work. At least one of them has an undated resignation letter in their desk ready to go if they are asked to do anything that they find morally questionable (and this is someone who has generally defended NSA's actions in the past).

      So, he was fine with Obama doing anything illegal, he's just worried about Trump.

      As someone else said, your "friend" is a liar and a hypocrite if he stayed on past Snowden's revelations.

      • Huge difference between being aware of morally questionable behavior and being asked to participate. I would have kept my mouth shut and looked for a new job, but that can take time to find a good fit. But the moment I have to do something I fundamentally disagree with, I stand my ground and risk termination.

        Being fired for standing up for the Constitution sends a stronger message than just quitting and turning the job over to someone who needs the job and would roll over. Multiple terms creates the elepha

    • by Notabadguy ( 961343 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:15AM (#53953425)

      They've been looking since the Snowden revelations tanked morale. During Obama's tenure. In fact, it was in the news, here on slashdot with an almost identical headline, minus the trump bit.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        When Trump took over, the world's most powerful surveillance system fell into the hands of a madman. The guy is paranoid, he seems to honestly believe that Obama has been organising leaks from his administration and other crazy things. He's probably compromised by Russia.

        We are way beyond Snowden now.

    • talent ? (Score:2, Funny)

      by stooo ( 2202012 )

      >> NSA Risks Talent Exodus Amid Morale Slump, Trump Fears

      NSA has talent ?

    • Help them leave (Score:3, Insightful)

      by s.petry ( 762400 )

      Before I begin, I will say that my opinion would be the exact same no matter which party held the office. The NSA is not supposed to be a political entity, it is supposed to serve the American people as a whole. Any person in any agency that refuses to support the current administration should absolutely leave, and do so in a hurry. Any person in the agency being forced to work against the interests of the current administration should blow the whistle on the people making demands which harm the Country.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

        Any person in any agency that refuses to support the current administration should absolutely leave, and do so in a hurry.

        Those people are hired to serve their country foremost, not their president.

        Taking a crap on administration was never before seen as okay, yet that is what the current leaks are designed to do.

        We The People must distance ourselves from Trump if we are to retain any credibility.

      • The behavior of the Democratic party for the last several months has pushed every single one of them away. The current behavior has turned them into enemies of the Democratic party. That sentiment is being echoed across the country as they continue to try and destroy the current Administration.

        Honest question: what behavior are you talking about? Many, many democrats have stated that they are willing to work with the new administration on areas of common ground. Many democrats have voted in favor of Trump's cabinet appointments.

        So far, they've been positively cooperative compared to the obstructionist tactics of the Republicans during the Obama administration. Sure, Democrats have criticized Trump on his unconstitutional or poorly conceived orders and statements (as have Republicans) - why is tha

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by meta-monkey ( 321000 )

          Honest question: what behavior are you talking about?

          Filibustering Trump's cabinet? It's taking forever, for no other reason that Democrats dragging their feet. Republicans did not do this to Obama's cabinet, and approved 7 of his appointments on Obama's first day in office.

          I'm not arguing Republicans didn't use obstructionist tactics later in Obama's presidency, but I don't see how you can say Democrats aren't being obstructionists now when they've filibustered cabinet appointments. It ultimately doesn't matter because they have no power and can't actually s

          • The Democrats have voted in favor of many appointments, but it's pretty clear thanks to the issues with Flynn that extended questioning is warranted - Trump has been appointing people with dubious backgrounds, lackluster credentials, potential conflicts of interest, foreign ties, and extreme ideologies. In those cases, it's appropriate for Democrats and Republicans to scrutinize and possibly reject his appointments. But in the case when he appoints someone who is actually qualified (General Mattis, for inst

            • But you know they're all going to pass anyway, right? The Dems aren't persuading anyone, they're just filling up time.

              • They don't hold a candle to the obstructionism of the right:

                John Boehner offering his plans for Obama’s agenda: “We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.”

                Mitch McConnell: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

                If that's not putting political aims above the good of the country, I don't know what is.

        • by s.petry ( 762400 )

          Honest question: what behavior are you talking about? Many, many democrats have stated that they are willing to work with the new administration on areas of common ground. Many democrats have voted in favor of Trump's cabinet appointments.

          Lets start with the declarations of impeachment that began back in November. How about the constant claims of racism, discrimination, islamaphobic, homophobic, xenophobic, and that anyone that does agree with their Leftism is one or all of those things.

          How about the claims that illegal immigrants are not, and can not be, criminals and that the American people must not only welcome criminals but transfer wealth to them. In addition of course to any other group that the Democrats wish to import for politica

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by geek ( 5680 )

      Almost every single one of them right now is quietly or not so quietly looking for other work. At least one of them has an undated resignation letter in their desk ready to go if they are asked to do anything that they find morally questionable (and this is someone who has generally defended NSA's actions in the past). The morale at NSA right now is in a massive slump.

      Yet they stayed after the Snowden leaks? Fuck your friend. Trump hasn't even hinted at anything like that yet your idiot NSA friend stuck it out through very real morale issues under Obama. Tell your shit stain friend his candidate lost and to grow some fucking balls and act like an adult. Do the job or get the fuck out. Or as my grandpa used to say "Shit or get off the pot"

  • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:03AM (#53953309)

    The "same" thing happened when Obama was elected. Bush had significantly expanded many intelligence programs and there lots of folks in the intelligence community who feared that Obama's campaign focus on closing Guantanamo and pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan along with his focus on transparency and civil liberties meant that he would gut the entire community and all of its big programs.

    They were wrong. It wasn't long before morale rebounded when people figured out Obama wasn't going to drastically shake things up.

    Now, I think Trump, given his personality and what he has done so far, is more likely to shake things up then Obama was, but in the end this will end up being something that we point to the next time the administration changes and there is a story about people in the intelligence community fearing changes suffer a morale slump and start thinking about leaving.

    Heck, the intelligence community loses way more people to the private sector because of things like "I can keep my phone with me at my desk," "I can talk about my work in public", and "I don't have to deal with the insanity that is government bureaucracy" way more than "the president might ask me to do something I find objectionable."

    The truth is that the intelligence has a very robust oversight apparatus and you don't have to look very hard to see that congress actually like holding the intelligence community accountable. Are there abuses? Definitely, just like with anything else. However, they are about as common as instances of actual voter fraud. In addition to that, if Trump gets the defense budget increases he is seeking, that will translate directly into increased funding for the intelligence community, which will likely improve morale overall.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Stop being so damned reasonable.

      This is another opportunity to blindly bash Trump and up our leftist street credentials with no evidence whatsoever, just some anonymous reports with no numbers in them which can't be refuted or intelligently discussed because this entire story is completely anecdotal.

      Anecdotal trumps Trump! Or something like that.

      Now where's the slashdot story about how Bill Nye got schooled by Tucker Carlson over global warming? We haven't given the mindless left a chance to down mod inte

    • The truth is that the intelligence has a very robust oversight apparatus and you don't have to look very hard to see that congress actually like holding the intelligence community accountable

      Did I miss some sarcasm in that post? Or are you serious?

      If you are serious, then you clearly are not reading the news. There is no effective oversight of the intelligence community by Congress. Just look at what happened with the CIA torture report, or Clapper lying to Congress and suffering no consequences for his lie

      • Did I miss some sarcasm in that post? Or are you serious?

        If you are serious, then you clearly are not reading the news. There is no effective oversight of the intelligence community by Congress. Just look at what happened with the CIA torture report, or Clapper lying to Congress and suffering no consequences for his lies. Read or listen carefully to what Senator Wyden is saying about the intelligence community: if he expresses concern that something may be happening, then it is.

        First, I specifically said the following, right after where you cut off my quote: Are there abuses? Definitely, just like with anything else. However, they are about as common as instances of actual voter fraud.

        Second, I have said this before and I will say this again: the government (at all levels, from local to federal, including military, policy, intelligence, etc.) is a representation of the society from which it is drawn. To think that intelligence (or military, or police for that matter) harbors not

        • I can agree with the not branding entire groups of people because of the actions of a few. That said voter fraud would appear to be far less common and less significant than abuses within the intelligence community. Not everyone in those organizations is going to be authoritarians, but they will be much more common simply because of the way recruiting and promotion works.

          There was a time, not even a decade ago when I would have been happy to work for any number of federal agencies. These days though I find

        • by Jiro ( 131519 )

          Please don't look at one incident and translate that into "they're all criminals."

          It's not that the incidents directly mean they're all criminals. It's that the incidents show that checks and balances don't exist or are not working. If you don't have working checks and balances, that's an environment which criminals are going to take advantage of.

        • However, every time that people point to a single incidence or something like that and then use it to characterize the entire community of intelligence or law enforcement, all it does is make those people feel like they are being attacked.

          Every time cops do something wrong, all the other cops, and the prosecutors and judges, stand behind them even when it's as blatant as shooting unarmed people in the back.

          These people *should* be attacked.

          That is not actually a good thing. If you think it is, go talk to

    • The "same" thing happened when Obama was elected. Bush had significantly expanded many intelligence programs and there lots of folks in the intelligence community who feared that Obama's campaign focus on closing Guantanamo and pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan along with his focus on transparency and civil liberties meant that he would gut the entire community and all of its big programs.

      They were wrong. It wasn't long before morale rebounded when people figured out Obama wasn't going to drastically shake things up.

      That was partly them misunderstanding Obama, he's a pragmatic realist, he really believes in civil liberties and pulling out of wars, but he's also understands the current system evolved for a reason and is/was extremely cautious about breaking it.

      But that was also just worries about downsizing, they didn't find Obama morally objectionable, they just thought they might lose their jobs.

      Now, I think Trump, given his personality and what he has done so far, is more likely to shake things up then Obama was, but in the end this will end up being something that we point to the next time the administration changes and there is a story about people in the intelligence community fearing changes suffer a morale slump and start thinking about leaving.

      Heck, the intelligence community loses way more people to the private sector because of things like "I can keep my phone with me at my desk," "I can talk about my work in public", and "I don't have to deal with the insanity that is government bureaucracy" way more than "the president might ask me to do something I find objectionable."

      I think Trump really is fundamentally different. He doesn't seem to respect a lot of the informal rules that keep democracie

    • I see one major difference between Obama and Trump. While many in the intelligence agencies feared that Obama would scale back their programs due to a change in the focus of his administration, Obama never denigrated the intelligence community--I'm sorry the "so-called" intelligence community. For their fears about Obama it was a fear about the change in priorities. For Trump it is a President who has openly mocked their importance and jobs to the country and the world.
    • In addition to that, if Trump gets the defense budget increases he is seeking, that will translate directly into increased funding for the intelligence community, which will likely improve morale overall.

      No it won't. You're somehow assuming that increased defense spending will somehow equate to higher salaries, which is simply preposterous. Increased spending just means more mandates to do more stuff: build more ships, more weapons, etc. That doesn't mean that individual salaries will actually go up, in

  • I'm pretty sure that they have nothing to worry about. They'll have plenty of opportunity to keep spying on the American people under Trump.

  • by oh_my_080980980 ( 773867 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:13AM (#53953395)
    FTA:

    "The problem is especially acute at NSA, current and former officials said, due to a reorganization known as NSA21 that began last year and aims to merge the agency's electronic eavesdropping and domestic cyber-security operations."

    "The changes include new management structures that have left some career employees uncertain about their missions and prospects. Former employees say the reorganization has failed to address widespread concerns that the agency is falling behind in exploiting private-sector technological breakthroughs."

    "Some NSA veterans attribute the morale issues and staff departures to the leadership style of Rogers, who took over the spy agency in 2014 with the task of dousing an international furor caused by leaks from former contractor Edward Snowden."

    But you have to love how Reuters concludes the article:

    "Trump's criticism of the intelligence community has exacerbated the stress caused by the reorganization at the NSA, said Susan Hennessey, a former NSA lawyer now with Brookings Institution."

    You do realize Reuters, he wasn't the cause....
    • Yeah, from what I gather from people I know at NSA, the reorg is a huge pain. They're also moving a lot of people to new office spaces... did I say offices? I meant cubicles. And for a white-collar force where one of the previous perks was semi-private office space, that's a big deal. Did I also mention that the pay isn't that great compared to private sector (hundreds of thousands less, sometimes)?
  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:13AM (#53953399)

    I know there's been a lot of back-and-forth about Trump.

    But the way most everyone in the world views him, is that he has always been, and remains the living symbol of arrogance and greed. Trump does not serve the United States of America, the USA functionally serves Trump as it stands.

    Working in any position where you were spending your life promoting that would suck. It's painful enough that an otherwise wonderful nation elected that dude.

    Yes, defending Ameirca is crucially important, and our nation still stands for a lot of very important principles, but when all of that sits in service to, well, Trump, it would be very difficult to not want to go off and help it some other way.

    I empathize with the folks making those choices.

    Ryan Fenton

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      and our nation still stands for a lot of very important principles,

      Could you please elaborate what those principles are?
      It can't be democracy, because people always say that the US isn't a democracy, but a Republic. It also can't be freedom of speech, as POTUS banned the press. Guns are allowed in many countries, so that can't be it either.

      So what are these principles you talk about?

  • How could anyone possibly spin this as a bad thing? If Trump does nothing else this would be a win for the American people and the rest of the world as well.

    • Um... Right offhand my first thought is "Who are they going to work for next". You might not like the NSA but if all of their top talent goes elsewhere it could be a very serious problem for us. Imagine what would have happened if during the development of the atomic bomb if all of the talent would have went to work for someone else? Do you think that scenario would have worked out for us?
      Just food for thought.
      • Right offhand my first thought is "Who are they going to work for next". You might not like the NSA but if all of their top talent goes elsewhere it could be a very serious problem for us.

        Not really. In all likelihood they'll go work for private security contractors that specialize in intelligence, but give the US government the plausible deniability it has lost due to checks & balances. A high-level US security clearance carries a LOT of value for employees. Very few people would throw away .gov/DoD private contractor opportunities to go work for Russia/China/etc. for anything less than millions of dollars, IMO.
        http://www.thedailybeast.com/a... [thedailybeast.com]

  • by Syncerus ( 213609 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:15AM (#53953421)

    Not to be a smartass, but do we really want our best and brightest in the NSA? Whether you are politically left, right or agnostic, the surveillance state should be a serious concern for all those who value privacy and liberty. This isn't a Bush, Obama or Trump thing: this is an individual rights thing.

    • Not to be a smartass, but do we really want our best and brightest in the NSA?

      Not with the lack of transparency in our government in general. The idea of securing the nation's communications is a good one. Unfortunately, the NSA does ever so much more than that.

    • Yes. We do.

      Why? Because other countries will force recruit and blackmail their best and brightest and we (at least nominally) depend upon our best and brightest to do so under their own free will.

      The DNC emails being hacked so easily by a simple typo and a phishing attempt is a perfect example. Google's Gmail security is better than the DNC's with two-factor authentication and warnings sent to your backup account when someone logs into your account from somewhere suspicious.

      • The "typo" is just a CYA retcon of the facts, because it's really bad for your career to admit the truth in these kind of situations.

        You are also assuming that the actions of our intelligence agencies align with the interests of the American people at large, but the reality is that very often they are mostly serving the oligarchy, and I'm not really bothered if they are hurt by foreign spies.

    • Whether you are politically left, right or agnostic, the surveillance state should be a serious concern for all those who value privacy and liberty.

      Which is who? Not very many Americans, as proven by all the people who use Twitter and Facebook and happily make themselves dependent on monopolistic corporations.

      Face it; no one cares about privacy any more.

  • "One of the executives, who would speak only on condition of anonymity, said he was stunned by the caliber of the would-be recruits. They are coming from a variety of government intelligence and law enforcement agencies..."

    So yet again Mr Trump has come up trumps! He is already delivering on his promise to stimulate the business sector and create jobs. here are large numbers of America's most brilliant minds, being prized out of dead-end, stultifying jobs in a government bureaucracy that performs no useful

  • Retaining and recruiting talented technical personnel has become a top national security priority in recent years as Russia, China, Iran and other nation states and criminal groups have sharpened their cyber offensive abilities while the NSA wasted their resources on attacking their own civilians.

    There, fixed that for you.

  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:41AM (#53953609) Homepage Journal

    acrimonious relationship between the intelligence community and President Donald Trump

    Yeah, stop leaking the White House staff's communications to press, you "Deep Throat" wannabes...

    said he was stunned by the caliber of the would-be recruits [applying for private sector jobs -mi]

    This part, actually, sounds great — consumer's technology gets a chance to improve beyond the government's ability to spy on us.

    And not just American Government's — by far the most benign of the three — that of Russia and China as well.

  • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @11:51AM (#53953703)
    I feel SO SORRY that the professional constitutional and human rights violators aren't feeling all that chipper about their work.
  • and worries about the acrimonious relationship between the intelligence community and President Donald Trump

    As a member of the intelligents community, I feel the same way!

  • . . .and they've uniformly complained about the glacial pace of promotions there (and the senior people are camping in their positions as long as they can), the tendency of No Such Agency to pigeonhole them in their niches. . . . and the fact that the pay is crap, even for contractors.

    However, couldn't hire any of them, they also were demanding Silicon Valley Rockstar salaries for Federal Contract positions in DC Metro . . .

  • Reuters are supposed to be a news channel but this piece seems to be an opinion. There is a lot of talk about fake news but opinion disguised as news is fake.

Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. - Fyodor Dostoevski

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