Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NSA Leak – Privatization Run Amok

Is Edward Snowden a hero for protecting our liberties or a traitor for undermining our national security? This is indeed a difficult issue for most Americans but as I watched Snowden describe his actions, it struck me that the privatization of our national security may have undermined both noble goals. Some excellent reporting from the Washington Post shocked me as to how far this privatization has gone:
Never before have so many U.S. intelligence workers been hired so quickly, or been given access to secret government information through networked computers. In recent years, about one in four intelligence workers has been a contractor, and 70 percent or more of the intelligence community’s secret budget has gone to private firms ... But in the rush to fill jobs, the government has relied on faulty procedures to vet intelligence workers, documents and interviews show. At the same time, intelligence agencies have not hired enough in-house government workers to manage and oversee the contractors, contracting specialists said.
If the national security buffs in our Federal government were serious about keeping such programs classified, why allow private contractors to be so heavily involved? And when private companies have such access to our private information, where are the protections to our liberties? And with the secrecy involved with these programs, private fraud is made that much easier. The situation created by this privatization run amok is something only Dick Cheney could love.


Anonymous said...

What does it say about our democracy when a 29 year-old techie, not old enough to run for Congress, knows more about our national security than several members of our Congress?

Jack said...

Maybe now we begin to understand why the national security budget has grown so enormously over the past decade. Has it done any good? Two schlameels in Boston couldn't be stopped in spite of forewarnings here, there, and every where. There is far too much profit potential in all of this para-military activity for the good of the country. Remember that a corporation, by definition, puts profit before proficiency.

Anonymous said...

Privatization is bad policy in my view, but I don't think it had anything to do with what either of these men did. Bradley Manning worked for the US government, did he not as did townsend before going with Booz Allen. BA should be investigated to understand how townsend had access to this information, but he might have seen a lot of it when he worked for NSA.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I've seen no evidence that our third way Dem corporatists love it any less than the goopers.

"Privatize the profits, socialize the costs."