Ironically, the most honest thing the NSA has done since its founding might just be deleting the word "honesty" from its statement of core values, in January 12th's revisions to the earlier version that also once included "openness."
The new version also abandons the goals of attaining "great trust" from the public -- the new version purges all mentions of "trust," "honor" and "openness."
The agency previously stated on its website that it embraced transparency and claimed that all of its activities were aimed at “ensuring the safety, security, and liberty of our fellow citizens.” That is another sentence that has been discarded. The agency still says it is committed to transparency on the updated website, but the transparency is now described as being for the benefit of “those who authorize and oversee NSA’s work on behalf of the American people.” The definition of “integrity” has been edited, too. The agency formerly said its commitment to integrity meant it would “behave honorably and apply good judgment.” The phrase “behave honorably” has now been dropped in favor of “communicating honestly and directly, acting ethically and fairly and carrying out our mission efficiently and effectively.”
NSA Deletes “Honesty” and “Openness” From Core Values [Jean Marc Manach/The Intercept]
The National Security Agency is reportedly considering ending the mass surveillance program that gathered data about hundreds of millions of telephone call records each year, including ones by Americans.
Since 2001, the NSA has secretly ingested the calling records of virtually every US mobile phone subscriber, with the covert participation of the mobile carries; the program -- authorized by a secret order of then-president GW Bush -- remained secret until it was disclosed through documents provided to journalists by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Former NSA spies have been working for the government of the United Arab Emirates as hacker mercenaries, helping the UAE attack journalists, dissidents, and human rights activists. This is a great read, and a shocking story from Reuters.
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