First read this. Also, read the linked letter.
Finished? Are you incensed yet?
I’m not going to scream about how the NSA could have prevented 9/11. As callous as it might sound, mistakes happen. Here are the unforgivable mistakes that the post and the letter illuminate:
1. NSA leadership preferred covering up their mistakes rather than trying to fix the process that led to the mistakes being made.
2. Sacrifice a working system and the Fourth Amendment to buy fancy, high cost, non-working toys from contractors.
3. Engage in bulk data hauls that drown the NSA in data and make it less likely that real threats can be detected.
I don’t know what can be done to fix the NSA. Moreover, I don’t think that there is any interest inside the Beltway to reform it. What it does show is exactly where the priorities of the leadership lie.
*Title from Demolition Man, which I should go watch again