National Security Agency director says the agency has found a solution to prevent future Snowdens from disclosing classified information by replacing its system administrators with machines.
Speaking at a cyber security conference, Gen. Keith B. Alexander said intelligence agencies are going to reduce 90 percent of system administrators. Edward Snowden leaked top secret US intelligence when he was an NSA contractor system administrator, according to the Huffington Post .
“We’ve put people in the loop of transferring data, securing networks and doing things that machines are probably better at doing,” Alexander said during a large panel discussion with the heads of the FBI and CIA.
There are currently about 1,000 system administrators working for the NSA directly or indirectly, Alexander had previously said.
Alexander said, “The intent of what we’re now doing is to come up with ways that limit what people can take, what data they have and how we monitor that.”
Alexander also mentioned that to prevent possible leaks the “two-man rule” is being followed in intelligence agencies. It means that when accessing sensitive information, administrators need to have someone with them.
Not mentioning Snowden’s name, Alexander continued that new technology called a “thin virtual cloud structure” would replace employees, relieveing the agency of having to trust people with protecting sensitive government secrets.
Snowden had acknowledged the huge access he had to top secrets.
“When you’re in positions of privileged access, like a systems administrator for the sort of intelligence community agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale than the average employee. And because of that you see things that may be disturbing, but over the course of a normal person’s career you’d only see one or two of these instances.”
There have been numerous political rallies in support of Snowden. Some have compared Snowden to Bradley Manning, another “whistleblower” who is currently facing a possibility of 90 years in prison for exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq.