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Author Topic: Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be “Abolished”  (Read 1086 times)

Renegade

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Presented without comment.

http://www.tikkun.org/tikdaily40091.html

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Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be “Abolished”

Last week, Dr. Joseph Bonneau learned that he had won the NSA’s first annual “Science of Security (SoS) Competition.” The competition, which aims to honor the best “scientific papers about national security” as a way to strengthen NSA collaboration with researchers in academia, honored Bonneau for his paper on the nature of passwords.

And how did Bonneau respond to being honored by the NSA? By expressing, in an honest and bittersweet blog post, his revulsion at what the NSA has become:

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On a personal note, I’d be remiss not to mention my conflicted feelings about winning the award given what we know about the NSA’s widespread collection of private communications and what remains unknown about oversight over the agency’s operations. Like many in the community of cryptographers and security engineers, I’m sad that we haven’t better informed the public about the inherent dangers and questionable utility of mass surveillance. And like many American citizens I’m ashamed we’ve let our politicians sneak the country down this path.

In accepting the award I don’t condone the NSA’s surveillance. Simply put, I don’t think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form.


In an interview with Andy Cush at Animal, Bonneau went even farther in his critiques of the NSA:

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I’d rather have it abolished than persist in its current form. I think there’s a question about whether it’s possible to reform the NSA into something that’s more reasonable…But my feeling based on what I’ve read is that I don’t want to live in a country with an organization like the NSA is right now.

When Bonneau learned that he has won the award from the NSA, he considered turning it down. However, he ultimately decided upon accepting as a way to potentially bridge academic gaps with the NSA, as a means of opening up at least one avenue into the organization that has been mostly closed.

That said, the winner of the NSA award wants, like many privacy rights activists and citizens concerned with the government’s Fourth Amendment violations, for the NSA to be reformed by a political process (like the one which narrowly failed in the House yesterday).

Either that, or have it abolished altogether.

More links in the original. (Notably to NSA press release and researchers blog post.)
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tomos

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Re: Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be “Abolished”
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 06:02:40 AM »
also mentioned here
(cross posted mainly cause of the extra link)

A Google engineer with integrity?
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Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be Abolished
Posted by timothy on Sunday July 28, 2013 @08:29AM
from the well-if-you'd-like-my-opinion-gentleman dept.

First time accepted submitter MetalliQaZ writes "Last week, Dr. Joseph Bonneau learned that he had won the NSA's first annual "Science of Security (SoS) Competition." The competition, which aims to honor the best 'scientific papers about national security' as a way to strengthen NSA collaboration with researchers in academia, honored Bonneau for his paper on the nature of passwords. And how did Bonneau respond to being honored by the NSA? By expressing, in an honest and bittersweet blog post, his revulsion at what the NSA has become: 'Simply put, I don't think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form.'"
Tom

Adolfo

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Re: Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be “Abolished”
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 11:09:18 AM »
Perhaps Google is not pleased with its governmental competitor.
Who knows what is NSA planning, perhaps in a few months we'll all be surprise by an NSAds tool. :P

If public agency does it, it's regrettable,
if a private company does it, it's profitable.

Cheers.

40hz

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Re: Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be “Abolished”
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 12:46:51 PM »
When Bonneau learned that he has won the award from the NSA, he considered turning it down. However, he ultimately decided upon accepting as a way to potentially bridge academic gaps with the NSA, as a means of opening up at least one avenue into the organization that has been mostly closed.

That's a flawed strategy on many levels since it presumes the other side is both rational and genuinely willing to negotiate.

The NSA is neither.

You'd think somebody as bright as Bonneau would have figured that out on his own. Or maybe he did, but still decided to take the opportunity to enhance his curriculum vitae rather than stand behind his own political philosophy?

Dunno. I think it's just another example of how "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." :-\

IainB

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Re: Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be “Abolished”
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2013, 01:30:38 PM »
...Dunno. I think it's just another example of how "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." :-\
Yes, I was skeptical about that too.