Saturday, July 26, 2014

168.4 - Unintentional Humor: NSA concerned about privacy

Unintentional Humor: NSA concerned about privacy

Pierre Beaumarchais, who was among other thing a French playwright, is credited with the saying “I hasten to laugh at everything, for fear of being obliged to weep.”

Here's an example of what he meant:

Journalist Matthew Keys submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the National Security Agency, the NSA, for emails sent by Edward Snowden from his NSA account in the months before he became a whistleblower.

Snowden insists that before decided to leak the documents that revealed the NSA's massive spying apparatus, he repeatedly he raised concerns internally about the legality of the program.

In May, the NSA, after having initially denied that Snowden had raised any questions with anyone about surveillance programs, released one single email from Snowden, in which he inquired about the relative power of executive orders and laws. The agency then claimed that this time, that really, really was all it had from Snowden related to the mass surveillance.

Edward Snowden
For his part, Snowden called that a “clearly tailored and incomplete leak.”

So Matthew Keys filed his FOIA request to try to see who was right.

The NSA, of course, said no, claiming exemptions under the FOIA.

Here's why it gets funny. Among the excuses the NSA offered - remember, now the NSA has already released one email from Snowden, one it used to buttress its case against him - among the excuses the NSA offered was the claim that revealing any other emails "would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

Yes, you heard that right: The NSA is now deeply concerned about personal privacy.

Remember to laugh so you don't cry.

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