For those who have been following the news, you might recall that there was a huge fuss over how Edward Snowden, a former NSA system administrator, blew the whistle on the organization’s PRISM program which basically allowed the US government to spy on its own people. Instead of attempting to reassure the public that this was in their best interest, the program was defended and even called “lawful”, and now NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander has revealed future plans on how to prevent such leaks from occurring again.
Speaking at a cybersecurity conference in New York where the heads of the FBI and CIA were present, Alexander revealed that he would love it if he could replace the vast majority of his employees and contractors with machines. According to a report from Reuters, Alexander was quoted as saying, “What we’re in the process of doing – not fast enough – is reducing our system administrators by about 90 percent […] What we’ve done is put people in the loop of transferring data, securing networks and doing things that machines are probably better at doing,”
In another quote reportedly made by Alexander, “We trust people with data. At the end of the day it’s all about trust. And people who have access to data as part of their missions, if they misuse that trust they can cause huge damage,” making it no secret that this is part of a move that will help prevent leaks or whistleblowing akin to what Edward Snowden has done in the future.