Stephen E. Arnold: NSA Cannot Search Its Own Employees’ Emails — Say What?

Government, Ineptitude, IO Impotency, Military
Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

Surveillance Organization Unable to Search Own Employees Email

An article titled NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails on ProPublica brings up an interesting glitch in the NSA’s surveillance technology. In spite of having the capability to sort through big data with a supercomputer, when it comes to doing a search of NSA’s over 30,000 employees they are at a loss. The article explains,

“There’s no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately,” NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker told me last week. The system is “a little antiquated and archaic,” she added… It’s actually common for large corporations to do bulk searches of their employees email as part of internal investigations or legal discovery.”

The article also brings up the point that federal agencies often don’t have the funding they need for public records. However, if any agency should have the capability to keep tabs on its employees, it is the agency charged with surveillance of the nation. Lacking that ability limits NSA operatives to searching emails by individuals one at a time instead of searching for keywords or in bulk. This is very interesting in light of recent events, no further comment.

Chelsea Kerwin, August 24, 2013

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