NSA To Fire 90% Of Its System Administrators To Prevent Future Snowdens

system administrators

Human beings deemed a security risk. Business Insider reports:

The National Security Agency, hit by disclosures of classified data by former contractor Edward Snowden, said Thursday it intends to eliminate about 90 percent of its system administrators to reduce the number of people with access to secret information.

Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, the U.S. spy agency charged with monitoring foreign electronic communications, told a cybersecurity conference in New York City that automating much of the work would improve security.

Before the change, “what we’ve done is we’ve put people in the loop of transferring data, securing networks and doing things that machines are probably better at doing,” Alexander said.

Using technology to automate much of the work now done by employees and contractors would make the NSA’s networks “more defensible and more secure,” he said.

10 Comments on "NSA To Fire 90% Of Its System Administrators To Prevent Future Snowdens"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Aug 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm |

    When do the machines begin administration?

  2. That’s a good plan. If one of the droids develops a conscience and starts blowing the whistle, you can just put a restraining bolt on it or something.

  3. BuzzCoastin | Aug 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm |

    surprising the super snoops didn’t find Fast Eddy
    before he absconded with the smoking gun
    and now they admit that they can’t even protect themselves
    and have to resort to mass firings to prevent further leaks
    they’re having a difficult time keeping their incompetence a secret

    Wizard of Oz: [speaking in a booming voice into microphone] I am the great and powerful…
    [then, realizing that it is useless to continue his masquerade, moves away from microphone, speaks in a normal voice]
    … the Wizard of Oz.

  4. Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Aug 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm |

    90 is a good start but 10 shy of satisfactory.

  5. Not that I unilaterally support them in any case…I do think there was an amusing side lesson about privatization of security and intelligence personnel. Despite how loudly the hue and cry goes up for privatizing everything in sight to cut costs…when it comes to intelligence and national security…are they happy with the results of paying a wide range of NGO-employees a lower wage than fully vested government workers and then handing them responsibility for crucial processes and data? Has that formula worked out well? Or is it just possible that maybe, just maybe, there are some things that don’t flow into private markets as well as others?

  6. All of this paranoia about Snowden is just that…..paranoia. The NSA doesn’t want the citizens of the U.S. to know about their illegal activities, so they are attempting to scapegoat and demonize Snowden. This arrogant agency must really think that Americans are stupid and clueless. The truth is, they’ve been caught with their pants down and they don’t like it one little bit.

  7. Cortacespedes | Aug 11, 2013 at 7:56 pm |

    So, how does one join the “lucky” beyond reproach 10% that gets to keep their job? Lobotomy?

  8. sonicbphuct | Aug 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm |

    The thing I find most humorous is that what Snowden let loose has nothing at all to do with being a Systems Administrator. These were PowerPoint presentations, not some data maps for a giant database or disk identifying WWNs, or the contents of a passwd file or something that might actually touch on what SA’s do.

    So, firing 90% of SA’s just means the DataCenter will enjoy increased downtime. I guess I support that – like bluebird, below, said – still 10% too many.

  9. It isn’t as if any rational person still believes the USA is a free country. Think about it. No-warrant wire taps, indefinite detention of citizens without charges, approval of rendition of prisoners and torture, stop and frisk without probable cause, search and seizure without a warrant, no-knock entry, confiscation and destruction of cameras that might have been used to film police acting illegally, police brutality, police shootings that go without investigation, managed news, and the civil-rights destroying “Patriot” Act.

    Acts of police behaving illegally, with shootings, Tasers, and unwarranted violence now appear almost daily. Rarely are these offenses punished. Most often “an investigation” is claimed, but soon forgotten.


In addition, the USA, with 5% of the world population, has 25% of all of the prisoners in the world. That means the USA has the most people in prison of any nation in history. Even by percentage of residents incarcerated, not just sheer numbers. USA is # 1!

 Does any of that sound like a free country?

    As Dwight D. Eisenhower said about communism, “It’s like slicing sausage. First they out off a small slice. That isn’t worth fighting over. Then they take another small slice that isn’t worth fighting over. Then another and another. Finally, all you have left is the string and that isn’t worth fighting over, either.

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