Today The Guardian released some “shocking” new classified NSA and DoJ documents relating to SIGINT collection and U.S. persons that were billed by lead reporter Glenn Greenwald as very damaging (as he always does). I took a peek and found them underwhelming, indeed pretty well known to anyone familiar with NSA dealings with “USPs.” A big scoop … not so much, especially in light of NSA Deputy Director Chris Inglis’s detailed and lucid testimony before Congress on this issue just the other day.
I tweeted my feelings on the matter and promptly got a snarky tweet from none other than … Glenn Greenwald. This resulted in a minorly epic Twitterpalooza about NSA and SIGINT; I think I acquitted myself well but I’ll leave it to you to judge. And huge kudos to @AthertonKD for putting this together, in summary form, for your enjoyment.
For the record, I think Greenwald is a gifted polemicist whose zeal on this matter seems to have gotten ahead of the actual story at hand; which is unfortunate since more Congressional oversight of NSA would be a good thing, as I’ve been saying for a long time. That has now gotten lost in a much bigger and juicier story about Ed Snowden, unexplained Chinese happenings, compromises of super-secret NSA and GCHQ operations in a lot of places, and whatnot.
Many Twitter followers suggested that Glenn and I continue our debate in a more public forum, and I’m all for that. Glenn, call me sometime ….