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Re: NSA Realists v. Nuts (Was: Re: Crypto APIs)

"James A. Donald" writes:
> If that is the case, then the "Nutty Agenda" is perfectly sane.  They 
> want to rule over us.  There is nothing crazy about that. Evil yes.  
> Crazy no.  Their objective is to create a surveillance state, where 
> all actions are known and recorded by the state, in order to 
> facilitate detailed state control over every aspect of our lives.  Our 
> agenda is the opposite.  There is no commonality of purpose, hence no 
> possibility of cooperation.   

I disagree. Most NSA types are probably stock government employees who
want to get their job done with the least muss and fuss. Some of them
actually have pride in their work. Very few of them are likely
actively evil.

Just as I tend to see all computer systems installations in terms of
securing them from attack (a couple of clients have noted I have
security on the brain!), I suspect they see all things in the world in
terms of signals intelligence. Whenever anything comes up that
threatens their day to day way of doing things, they react badly --
its very natural. They don't want their work made hard or, even worse,
their jobs destroyed.

Certainly some of their masters at some times have been evil, and will
continue to be in the future, just as in any governmental
organization. Certainly some individuals working in the organization
are evil. However, in general, what you are looking at is just the
result of an entity trying to preserve itself having access to
governmental force. I doubt that there are many "national domination"
types in the agency, and there don't need to be for their agenda to be
opposed to ours.

I'll point out, though, that if anything this makes our job harder,
because strong crypto in the hands of the bulk of the world's
population will cost some jobs at NSA, and the only think harder to
dissuade than an evil madman is someone worrying about how he is going
to feed his kids once he's forced out of the government sector. Such
people will say almost anything to preserve their agency.