Can We Trust the NSA With Our Secrets?
Posted at 12:45 p.m. on June 10
While much of the focus in the recent revelations about the National Security Agency has been on the breadth of the government’s ability to collect information, Farhad Manjoo wonders whether the leaks highlight the government’s inability to keep that information a secret.
“The worst part about the NSA’s surveillance is not its massive reach. It’s that it operates entirely in secret, so that we have no way of assessing the sophistication of its operation. All we have is the word of our politicians, who tell us that they’ve vetted these systems and that we should blindly trust that the data are being competently safeguarded and aren’t vulnerable to abuse.”
“The scandal isn’t just that the government is spying on us. It’s also that it’s giving guys like Snowden keys to the spying program. It suggests the worst combination of overreach and amateurishness, of power leveraged by incompetence.”