Contractors and the NSA

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tim Shorrock, author of the book Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing, discusses the National Security Agency's reliance on private contractors like Booz Allen Hamilton for a range of sensitive activities.


Tim Shorrock

Comments [10]

Anthony Soprano from NY

And they blame congress? Obama isnt dodging this scandal. Liberals will defend his unethical actions and then pick up a picket sign when they spy on a Mosque for the most likely suspects. How does the left sleep at night. Thank God for FOX..

Jun. 11 2013 01:57 PM

@jgarbuz from Queens

Your comment only proves my point to SJG. There is no agreement that the time has come to restore the rights abrogated by the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Court.

Just wait until the executive wielding this kind of power gores our own ox.

Jun. 11 2013 01:49 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To RUCB_Alum

You're assuming there is no war, and there is no threat at all. Based on what? That is exactly what the real enemies want, that we claim "victory," stop the scrutiny, and lead us susceptible to the next "big one." I don't think so.

Jun. 11 2013 01:44 PM
John A

The existence of the FISA court means emphatically that is not done "freely".

Jun. 11 2013 01:43 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The problem is, in order to find the needles in the haystack, you have to have a haystack. How are you going to have restricted intelligence? Are you going to just target certain groups, such as say Muslims? That leads to civil rights questions. It is simpler to just download everything - all communications - and then sift through it to find the "needles."

Jun. 11 2013 01:41 PM

@SJG from NYC

Do you think we can get agreement that the Global War on Terror is largely over and the invasions caused by the PATRIOT Act and FISA Court enhancements can be rolled back?? Guess again.

Jun. 11 2013 01:38 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Well, when we eliminated the draft and downsized the government in general, both the military and the government had to turn to civilian contractors. Also, whereas in WWII and during the Cold War it was the government that produced most of the "hi tech" advances whereas since the dawn of the PC, it has been private industries that have produced most of the hi tech "marvels" of the recent era. As for pay, of course it has to be competitive to attract civilian experts, but on OTOH, they don't get veteran benefits or high pensions as do retired military and government workers. So overall, it is probably cheaper. However, there is a loss of security when you hand over certain critical parts to civilians.

Jun. 11 2013 01:37 PM
SJG from NYC

While the "where's Snowden now?" and "should intelligence work be outsourced to contractors?" stories are interesting, we can't let them be a smokescreen for the basic element of the story that caused initial outrage. Private communications are regularly and freely being monitored. The worst fears about FISA are being realized. It is of less concern whether the person reading my email gets paid by the government directly or through a contractor. The primary concern is that those emails are being read at all.

Jun. 11 2013 01:35 PM
Eric from New Jersey

A 29 year-old highschool drop-out working for a contractor had the ability (if not the authority) to wiretap everyone in the United States from the common man on up to the President of the United States. Not only that, but he had more access to information than even some of our elected officials.

So disturbing.

Makes you wonder what kind of a country we're living here exactly. Who's running the circus?

Jun. 11 2013 01:30 PM

Sorry....all of this is just a method to create billing and money for donors.

In the rush to 'catch up' after the embarrassment of 9/11, Bush and Co. opened the checkbook and the people signed on. How else does a guy with a GED - no AA, no BA, no IT Cert - get a gig worth $200K/yr?

Classic buy versus build mentality that we bought on to because we were afraid. If the GOP wants to reign in spending, this is where they need to start.

Jun. 11 2013 01:29 PM

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