- Insiders at the National Security Agency report that
the super-secret eavesdropping agency (which is actually bigger than the
CIA) is on the verge of losing track of the world's pulse. It has kept
track of the secret communications of dictators and terrorist masterminds
since it was created in 1952, but the NSA has failed to keep up with technology.
- Knowing in general terms what the NSA can do, potential
enemies now use underground fiber-optic cables which the NSA cannot read.
(Indian scientists relied exclusively on fiber-optics, leaving the NSA
with no information about impending nuclear tests.) Email, once thought
to be the best source of information in history, is now of considerably
less use due to its huge volume (and the NSA now lacks the computer power
to sift it) and the fact that much of the most interesting information
is encrypted with uncrackable codes.
- The NSA continues to rely on satellite eavesdroppers
built for the cold war; its daily "catch" of foreign communications
is increasingly less relevant to what is really going on. Insiders complain
that the NSA is arrogant and hide-bound, unable to come to grips with the
changing world and unwilling to admit that it can no longer do so. The
agency has ignored the findings of a a Senate investigation two years ago
that it is in desperate need of major restructuring and reorganization.
The NSA's computer were down on 24-26 Jan, losing days of data and damaging
the agency's continuously-updated world view.
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