back to article New NSA boss plays down impact of Snowden leaks

Incoming NSA chief Admiral Michael Rogers has played down the impact of the Snowden revelations on the spy agency's work. Former NSA director, General Keith Alexander, described the Snowden leaks as one of the worst breaches in intelligence history. UK spy agency bosses at GCHQ and MI6 told a Parliamentary inquiry back in …

  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Whilst Im 99% certain this is flim flam

    At least it sounds a teensy bit more honest that what has gone before.

    For given values of honest of course.......

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Whilst Im 99% certain this is flim flam

      He talks about controls to ensure that there can never be another Snowden... Shouldn't he be looking at making the system work, so that there is no need for another Snowden in the future?

      If there is nothing illegal / dodgy going on, there doesn't need to be a whistleblower.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Hit Snooze

      Re: Why Should I Believe Anything You Say?

      The NSA was established on 4th of November, 1952 (Yes I know that the NSA was formed out of the SSA which was created during WWII). What major event came before the creation of the NSA... WWII and I, for one, do not wish to return to that "nicer" time period.

      1. Charles Manning

        Sure the world is a better place since the NSA came along....

        But that does not mean we should give credit to the NSA.

        We could equally give credit to the transistor, rock music, super glue, oral contraceptives and Barbie doll - all of which came out around the same time.

    2. rizb

      Re: Why Should I Believe Anything You Say?

      The NSA was formed on November 4, 1952.

      How old are you and how much (specifically regarding SIGINT) do you remember before its formation?

      I don't absolutely doubt you, because my old man Royal Signals in the late 50's but even he would have been 14 at the time the NSA was formed so I doubt that he'd have been properly clued in. Any SIGINT professional would need to have been active in the field for a minimum of, call it 5 years, to be properly au fait with a before/after NSA situation so they'd have to be around 25 to have the right clearances (barely) and thus would now be at minimum 87 years old.

      So you can see why I'm asking.

      1. Hit Snooze

        Re: @rizb

        So your argument is because I wasn't there at the time, as an expert in SIGINT, I cannot possibly know if it was better or worse? I like that argument and I cannot wait to use it!

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Why Should I Believe Anything You Say?

      You only think it was a nicer place... let's have a look at then and now...

      Orwell wrote his book and it was published in 1949. What could he possibly have learned or experienced that would lead him to write what he did...?? It was a nicer time, right? Yet, he managed to see how politics, PR, and technology could merge.

      But, once upon a time, SIGINT wasn't a big thing except as a tactical item. The technology really didn't exist to gather information electronically. It's only as we've build technology that this has become an issue. Before then, Intelligence was gathered manually by the guy on the ground. Microfilm, code ciphers, secret meetings face to face. One assumed the operator was listening in to phone calls.

      Also, once a upon a time, it was governments spying on each other. Terrorist organizations were around but disjointed. Again, communications was an issue. Arafat's group caused major problems but intelligence was hard pressed to get any info on them.

      So, while bombs were going off, people being killed by assorted groups (PLO, IRA, etc.), intelligence was stuck. The media didn't publish much on it as they really had no info. News stories had to be shipped by plane or ship (for film) or long distance phone calls, teletype, etc.

      Was it nicer? Probably not, just different. We just didn't hear about it because there was no instant communications and the technology wasn't there. As reminder, how many people knew about the Japanese Interment Camps, the Stalin Purges, or even as late as the 70's, the Mao Purges?

    4. FormerKowloonTonger

      Re: Why Should I Believe Anything You Say?


      "I honestly don't think your agency is protecting anyone from anything."

      How would you know one way or the other?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Nice to see nothing has changed...

    bad cop, now good cop.

    Same tune, different fiddler.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Hit Snooze

      Re: Something else to think about.

      BAH!!!! Do away with the NSA and use their very ginormous budget for humanitarian use.

      You would need to remove all spy agencies from the world not just the US, otherwise a foreign spy agency will step in to fill the void as Big Brother.

      The world would be a much better place & America might get a little more respect from the rest of the world.

      I think most Americans don't care about respect from the rest of the world, they just want the same as everyone else - a health family, a roof over their heads, food on the table, and a vacation once in a while.

      Do you, as an individual, care about respect from Americans or other countries? I thought not. Only politicians fake caring about respect from other countries as long as it helps them reach their goal.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Something else to think about.

        >Do you, as an individual, care about respect from Americans or other countries?

        Do you as an individual propose to stop using American software, American email providers and American search engines ? Do you as an IT professional intend to stop doing the same for your company?

        >I think most Americans don't care about respect from the rest of the world, they just want the same as everyone else - a health family, a roof over their heads, food on the table, and a vacation once in a while.

        Which might be tricky if every other country starts boycotting their only successful global export.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Something else to think about.

          > Do you as an individual propose to stop using American software, American email providers and American search engines ? Do you as an IT professional intend to stop doing the same for your company?

          I'm not seeing your point. I use Linux and Libreoffice at home. My work uses Windows/Mac on the desktop and MS Office. That will not change no matter how much I whine and cry.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Something else to think about.

            Interesting: do most Americans not give a toss about what the rest of us think about them?

            I remember my youth; thinking of most people as half-asleep fools who could be easily bought (just like the operators of all the internet scams must). As I grew older I mellowed - like you do - and came to see most people as truly not wanting to hurt anybody; as being basically 'good'. No matter what part of the world they grew up in. They may not be sufficiently educated to see the bigger picture; and they may be pretty timid (and the two may be related), but they do want to 'get along'.

            Afaik most Americans are more right-wing than I am and if we talked politics we'd end up trading blows; but steer clear of politics and they are good, considerate, well-meaning, and like all people everywhere you'll get some who you'd despise for their politics yet would, say, jump into an ice-cold river to save someone from drowning, even at the cost of their own life. If they don't give a shit what, say, the Brits think of them, I posit that it is because they're being emotionally manipulated by their politicians. Just like we are. That the problem of this world is the overwhelming majority are decent people who do care about everyone else and do care what others think of them, manipulated by politicians and religious fruitcakes (i.e. 'politicians').

      2. Mitoo Bobsworth

        Re: Something else to think about.

        "I think most Americans don't care about respect from the rest of the world"

        And therein lies a big part of the problem, I would posit. As airy-fairy as it sounds, authentic respect is a valuable human quality that has been tossed aside in favour of unchecked authority and manipulative control. That the governing classes of the USA only seem to pay lip service to that word or display a shameless disdain for a deeper understanding of it does matter. Disregard human emotion & sensibility enough, and it always gets ugly.

      3. Charles Manning

        Does the NSA give you a healthy family?

        "I think most Americans don't care about respect from the rest of the world, they just want the same as everyone else - a health family, a roof over their heads, food on the table, and a vacation once in a while."

        Sure, no problem with those aspirations, but it is unclear how the NSA provides those.

        At one time, NSA probably served the people by giving them intelligence, but so too did the KGB.

        Unfortunately these secret organisations become a law and a community unto themselves. They start to serve themselves and anyone outside NSA is deemed to be "the enemy".

        An organisation that has gone that far off the rails cannot be corrected. it can only be disbanded.

      4. FormerKowloonTonger

        Re: Something else to think about.


        "I think most Americans don't care about respect from the rest of the world,...."

        This American agrees wholeheartedly. Do/did the former colonial powers, [read Sykes-Picot as a currently appropriate example....] give two hoots about "respect" other than to be called "sahib" in public, while their colonial subjects held them in contempt behind their backs except while they were sympathizers/sycophants/quislings?

        And, I'd guess that most other mature nations share that opinion.

        Those most in need of "respect" are the likes of the Palestinians, the North Koreans, and and the ilk of those ambitious nouveau arrivistes proclaiming themselves the new "caliph".

        It's called "bombast", no punning intended, but that certainly seems to follow, as in the Iranians.

  5. Red Bren
    Black Helicopters

    If Snowden were to set foot on his native soil

    How quickly would the tune change back to "OMG HE HELPS ISLAMOCOMMIES INVADE THE WHITE HOUSE!!!"

  6. Frank N. Stein

    "Regain the public trust?"

    "Regain the public trust?" Good luck with that, mate. The public trust is broken and anything this bloke says or does can be assumed to be little more than a public attempt at deception. The cat is out of the bag, running round the house, and well known to all. And now that LED lighting has been publicly reported on as including mini-web cams, the level of surveillance has reached a new height of deception and subterfuge.

    1. moiety

      Re: "Regain the public trust?"

      Do you have more info on the LED thing?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Regain the public trust?"

        1. moiety

          Re: "Regain the public trust?"

          Thanks. Couldn't find it.

  7. channel extended
    Black Helicopters

    Change over.

    This is the attitude that every executive has when he takes on a position that some one else has bungled.

    "The problems all occured on my predecessor's watch. We are the new centurions.We will be faithful."

    And as always some will belive and then be disapointed when nothing changes. It doesn't matter what the head of the NSA say's, it matters what he does.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Change over.

      I think you're right. However, I'll toss in the Nixon/Ford Syndrome. Nixon resigned and no one believed or trusted Ford. I think that's part of what's happening here. Even if Rogers is most unique NSA boss ever, he will have to fight the image of his predecessor plus there's still things coming out on his watch. Probably, the next guy will have a better shot at winning the public trust.

      But then again... this is NSA we're speaking of. They've had 62 years of growth and basically unhampered activity.

  8. Richard Altmann


    The world was such a nice place living in West - Berlin. The flat lit up by the search lights from east of the Wall, smoking joints, reading the "Illuminatus" books and getting frickin´ paranoid. Half a life later it turns out that Robert Anton Wilson and H.G. Wells did not catch a glimpse of what was going on even in their times. Nowadays one does not need any dope or LSD to be caught up in paranoia. Reality beats the worst trip one could "tune in" to.

  9. Richard Altmann

    A quote

    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

    Clive Staples Lewis * 29. November 1898† 22. November 1963

  10. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    I had great difficulty reading the article

    The word BASTARDS!! kept getting in the way.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mmmh, which is worse the Terrorist of the Terrorist Creator?

    You know those action movies where there are no good guys, just murky shades of grim?... By the end of the movie they all die by the same grenade. That's what I think will happen here.... No one ever takes the US to task publicly for their evils... In fact the US media and its five fingers are wholly complicit in the 'manufacturing of consent'...

    I look forward to the day that news out of the US doesn't get any exposure, due to sheer indifference... They are sinking to the bottom with their Thriftville / Squanderville model and only have themselves to blame...

  12. JaitcH

    Two Mike Rogers and reducing Edward Snowden's Profile.

    NOW we have two Mike Rogers - the new NSA boss - and the old one who practices sneering in his mirror every day, the Congressman who is on an oversight committee and repeats his mantra of "Snowden is a traitor".

    As if anyone is actually listening.

    Obviously psychologists and their ilk have been consulted which accounts for the Navy man being so cool. Hardly matches Alexander's and Clapper's rhetoric.Perhaps they simply want to help Snowden sink below the parapet and lose his press following.

    Whatever happens, this won't occur - Snowden has done everyone a big favour.

    I was watching Enemy of the State, made in 1998, an American spy-thriller. If viewers had doubts about technology back then, now - 16 years later - we know what the NSA does.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two Mike Rogers and reducing Edward Snowden's Profile.

      Yeah, Enemy of the State was a good un... If you watch carefully at the end, you will see a blurb telling you that all the technology shown in the film actually exists...... Gene Hackman at his best.

  13. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in Deed, indeed, and that is Sad and Mad and also Radical

    Ye Gods, incoming NSA chief Admiral Michael Rogers's revelations there are even more damaging than anything Snowden has done/is supposed to have done.

    The tacit admission that NSA, and by association GCHQ and Five Eyes, have practical access to any and all communications, [and which presumably/probably they have had for many a long year] reveals that there is no effective intelligence in-house to better use gleaned/phished/phormed/stolen information to lead persons of interest and/or influence to create a better and more equitable environment delivering prosperity and harmony, rather than protecting the crowd in charge of supplying austerity and mayhem, war and chaos. What a gang of right sad and mad losers they be whenever that is the case. And as is the case in all such businesses, is the problem right at the very top of management with those in charge and giving orders which others are expected to follow without question, i.e. quite religiously and psychotically.

    Change the problem, solves that particular and peculiar pernicious problem and follow instructions from solvers of problems rather than giving credence and slush funding to status quo puppets. Think differently so that things do not remain the same.

    It aint rocket science or anything difficult, is it.

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    How quickly everything turns to dust*

    “The United States is at a strategic turning point after a decade of war. We have significantly weakened al-Qaida’s leadership and ability to attack other nations. We have sent a very clear message that nobody attacks the United States and gets away with it.

    Our military mission in Iraq has ended and established—established an Iraq that can secure and govern itself.

    In Afghanistan, where a number of Asia-Pacific nations are playing a critical role in the international coalition, we have begun our transition to the Afghan security lead and to an Afghanistan that can secure and govern itself.” …… Former US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in a speech to the Shangri-La Security Dialogue in Singapore on June 2, 2012.

    * Or maybe it was all just a dream.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: How quickly everything turns to dust*

      What is Panetta smoking? Whatever it is, it is premium gear.

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