1994-06-27 - Re: NSA and competence

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From: nobody@shell.portal.com
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 1751e898e96165364685fae9f7fd81b40e18728fa51947327af9174bf3f941ec
Message ID: <199406272109.OAA21819@jobe.shell.portal.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-06-27 21:08:15 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 14:08:15 PDT

Raw message

From: nobody@shell.portal.com
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 14:08:15 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: NSA and competence
Message-ID: <199406272109.OAA21819@jobe.shell.portal.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>Do not, however, assume that they do not know and perform their job to the best
>of their abilities, or you will be in the position of the mark talking to a 
>cardsharp:  'I'm not any good at cards, but I sure do like to play for money.'

OTOH, one need not assume that everyone at NSA is a rocket scientist and
that they are miles ahead of us in this game.  The long undistinguished
history of federal agencies shows them to be full of incompetence, waste
and usually gross fraud as well. Considering the huge budget and lack of
accountability, NSA seems an unusual place to look for an exception.
A truly competent and efficient government agency that can hold its own
against competition from the private sector is a rarity indeed.  Granted,
NSA had a head start of a few decades, yet it would be surprising if
their lead at this point is more than negligible.  Yes, I have read
Bamford (though - sorry - not Kahn): remember that Bamford's book is
already 12 years old and was probably out-of-date WRT the technology
when it was published.

<not the same anonymous author>