The joke around the NSA used to be that the acronym stood for “No Such Agency” as its very existence was denied for years. While the NSA is now very official, it’s still probably the most secretive agency out there. That’s to be somewhat expected, given its mission, but it appears that when it needs to be transparent, it doesn’t do very well at all.
We noted yesterday that Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall had called the NSA out for flat out lying on a “fact sheet” the agency had posted about its section 702 surveillance efforts.
The NSA’s response? They quietly deleted the pdf document from their website. Because it’s not like the internet notices when you suddenly delete the document you put out to defend your overreaching surveillance techniques… You’d think that, of any agency out there, the NSA would recognize the most that simply deleting something on your local computers doesn’t make it actually disappear from the world. But, here’s the best part:
Separately Tuesday, another NSA official said the removal of the fact sheets and letter from the senators were unrelated.
Ah, yeah, I’m sure it had absolutely nothing to do with that whatsoever…
In more “unrelated” news, NSA boss, General Keith Alexander has also admitted that perhaps the fact sheet wasn’t fully accurate:
“After reviewing your letter, I agree that the fact sheet that the National Security Agency posted on its website on 18 June 2013 could have more precisely described the requirements for collection under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.”
Oh, I’m sure that the original wording was fairly “precise.” It’s just that it was precisely misleading, which is the sort of precision that the NSA seems to specialize in when it comes to any sort of public discussion.