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NSA says it can’t search its own emails

You can't make this up: The agency claims it doesn't have the technology to retrieve its employees' correspondence

The NSA is a “supercomputing powerhouse” with machines so powerful their speed is measured in thousands of trillions of operations per second. The agency turns its giant machine brains to the task of sifting through unimaginably large troves of data its surveillance programs capture.

But ask the NSA, as part of a freedom of information request, to do a seemingly simple search of its own employees’ email? The agency says it doesn’t have the technology.

“There’s no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately,” NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker told me last week.

The system is “a little antiquated and archaic,” she added.

I filed a request last week for emails between NSA employees and employees of the National Geographic Channel over a specific time period. The TV station had aired afriendly documentary on the NSA and I want to better understand the agency’s public-relations efforts.

A few days after filing the request, Blacker called, asking me to narrow my request since the FOIA office can search emails only “person by person,” rather than in bulk. The NSA has more than 30,000 employees.

I reached out to the NSA press office seeking more information but got no response.

It’s actually common for large corporations to do bulk searches of their employees email as part of internal investigations or legal discovery.

by Anonymousreply 2810/02/2013

Some idiot on Russian tv was telling people they have to use encryption to foil the NSA, as if decoding encryption was not the area where the NSA has historically been well ahead of the rest of the world.

by Anonymousreply 107/26/2013

LOl r1

by Anonymousreply 207/26/2013

They can search our emails, and save them, but can't search their own?

Bullshit.

They are the USSA version of the Stasi.

by Anonymousreply 307/28/2013

R1

If they use MicroSoft or Apple or Chrome- well, they don't need to decrypt, these companies already give them the key!

by Anonymousreply 407/28/2013

The people that defend the NSA are nuts.

by Anonymousreply 607/30/2013

Guardian newspaper journalist Glenn Greenwald appeared on ABC News "This Week" program yesterday to preview a story he will be publishing this week on just how widespread is the NSA spying on Americans. His revelations may shock you.

by Anonymousreply 707/30/2013

i believe it , r5

by Anonymousreply 807/30/2013

Yes, R7, we're all going to be shocked, shocked to find that a spy agency has been spying.

by Anonymousreply 907/30/2013

The absurd notion that the NSA is too incompetent to search its own internal emails makes me laugh.

Our government is evil, fucked up and dangerous.

by Anonymousreply 1008/24/2013

R10-

That's the problem- the NSA claims that a simple search for exonerating criminal info is out of bounds, while at the same time they can snoop ALL our emails/calls/search questions/GPS (via phone tracking)/FaceBook posts.

Our government is evil, out of control and dangerous.

I'm not scared to type these words- I know they will be saved in some database in the HUGE data center in Utah- and I know they CAN (maybe will?) be used against me after the Customer Friendly Homeland SemiSocialism that Clinton, Bush and Obama have been creating finally manifests.

Our government is evil, out of control and beholden to the big banks and F500 companies.

by Anonymousreply 1108/25/2013

OP-

The NSA could snoop Jesus' email.

The NSA is evil, mendacious and scary.

by Anonymousreply 1208/25/2013

R9 - no one is shocked by spys spying. It is who they are spying on and the extent. Read a newspaper and figure it out.

[quote] The absurd notion that the NSA is too incompetent to search its own internal emails makes me laugh.

I'm sure NSA could set-up email archives to allow complicated searches in no time at all. But by not doing that - they limit what information they can provide.

It's the opposite of incompetence. It's a clever way to circumvent FOIA.

You have to wonder exactly what President Obama thinks a transparent administration would look like? He must be confusing the words "transparent" and "opaque". Or maybe he is confusing the difference between an antonym and a synonym.

by Anonymousreply 1308/26/2013

The German newspaper Der Spiegel just revealed that the NSA is spying on the United Nations Headquarters.

by Anonymousreply 1408/26/2013

Can we take Obama's Nobel Peace Prize back?

by Anonymousreply 1508/26/2013

I wish, R15.

Revoking Krugman's bullshit NPP at the same time would rock!!!

by Anonymousreply 1608/26/2013

I have untreated ADHD. I'd like to see an NSA computer program try to find a pattern in my online activity. I have an average of 5 tabs open at once and can jump from one to the other several times in a few minutes.

"Ooh, let me look for cheap iphone cases. And should I be dividing the coreopsis this year? What? An email says 25% off pottery barn bedding? Let me scroll through that now for a minute or so, but I have to go to amazon and order triple antibiotic cream and one of those disposable film-using cameras for my visiting mother. Wildfires? Really? Ooh, let me read the online reviews of the latest Breaking Bad episode. I need a bathing suit and it's the end of the season. Ooh, cat videos!"

by Anonymousreply 1708/27/2013

[quote] The German newspaper Der Spiegel just revealed that the NSA is spying on the United Nations Headquarters.

We've always spied on UN HQ. Why wouldn't we? Everyone else does. It's a given.

by Anonymousreply 1808/27/2013

R17-

Crazy scary that our masterulers in DC are confident that our populace is too dumb, too lazy, and too apathetic to rebel from their chosen "narrative" and actually rebel.

by Anonymousreply 1908/27/2013

While we're at it webmaster, could you please ship the Libertarian idiot troll off to the fascist reeducation camps? TIA!

by Anonymousreply 2008/27/2013

Achtung - we resemble that remark, r3!

We are going to sue you for slander in British courts!

by Anonymousreply 2108/27/2013

Krugman does not have a Nobel Peace Prize, R16.

Though he does have one in economics.

by Anonymousreply 2208/27/2013

So, the NSA is less competent than Apple, Google, etc. and can't search their own data?

Bullfuckingshit.

by Anonymousreply 2310/01/2013

Oh, shut the fuck up, Libertarian Idiot.

by Anonymousreply 2410/02/2013

Good.

The NSA is vile. I hope it stays closed down for as long as possible.

by Anonymousreply 2510/02/2013

R24-

Your support of unlimited government spying makes me sick.

Your brand of fascism is pure evil, and it makes me sad to know creatures like you post here.

Please go to FascistRepublic and stay AWAY!

by Anonymousreply 2610/02/2013

R5 R6 R7 R8 R10 r13

R15-

I wish they would take it back, and from Henry "I murdered millions" Kissinger too. A few more years, and Obama will be just ahead of Roosevelt and Clinton, and just behind Bush and Reagan!

by Anonymousreply 2710/02/2013

[quote]Your brand of fascism is pure evil, and it makes me sad to know creatures like you post here.

Says the Libertarian Idiot with no clue whatsoever of economics, politics, history, or what the word "fascist" really means.

I ain't going anywhere, bitch. Judging by your endless obsessive-compulsive spam posts, neither are you.

by Anonymousreply 2810/02/2013
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