NSA News Round-Up
Chronic Electrical Failures Plague Massive NSA Data Center in Utah: The Wall Street Journal reports chronic electrical failures have plagued the National Security Agency’s massive new data-storage facility in Bluffdale, Utah, preventing the center from opening, and destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. There have been 10 meltdowns in just over a year that have prevented the NSA from using its computers. Project officials described the malfunctions as "a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box," saying they spark fiery explosions, melt metal and cost up to $100,000 in damages each. The NSA facility covers more than one million square feet and has a capacity projected to be larger than Google’s biggest data center.(maybe it was aliens trying to shut the place down)
NSA Director and Deputy to Leave Agency The White House has confirmed that the director of the National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, will step down early next year. Alexander has led the NSA since 2005. His deputy, John Inglis, is also expected to leave soon. An NSA spokesperson denied General Alexander’s departure was tied to recent revelations about the NSA’s sweeping spy programs.(right...)
The National Security Agency has been extensively involved in the U.S. government's targeted killing program, collaborating closely with the CIA in the use of drone strikes against terrorists abroad, The Washington Post reported after a review of documents provided by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden.
In one instance, an email sent by the wife of an Osama bin Laden associate contained clues as to her husband's whereabouts and led to a CIA drone strike that killed him in Pakistan in October 2012, the Post reported in its online edition Wednesday night....
And speaking of Snowden, more hints of a CIA set-up-- funny how these things keep slipping through the cracks:
WASHINGTON — Just as Edward J. Snowden was preparing to leave Geneva and a job as a C.I.A. technician in 2009, his supervisor wrote a derogatory report in his personnel file, noting a distinct change in the young man’s behavior and work habits, as well as a troubling suspicion.
The C.I.A. suspected that Mr. Snowden was trying to break into classified computer files to which he was not authorized to have access, and decided to send him home, according to two senior American officials.
But the red flags went unheeded. Mr. Snowden left the C.I.A. to become a contractor for the National Security Agency, and four years later he leaked thousands of classified documents. The supervisor’s cautionary note and the C.I.A.’s suspicions apparently were not forwarded to the N.S.A. or its contractors, and surfaced only after federal investigators began scrutinizing Mr. Snowden’s record once the documents began spilling out, intelligence and law enforcement officials said.
“It slipped through the cracks,” one veteran law enforcement official said of the report.Spokesmen for the C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. all declined to comment on the precise nature of the warning and why it was not forwarded, citing the investigation into Mr. Snowden’s activities.
Half a dozen law enforcement, intelligence and Congressional officials with direct knowledge of the supervisor’s report were contacted for this article. All of the officials agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing criminal investigation.
Speaking of weird government contractors who slipped through security clearances, this video of the Navy Yard shooter is pretty interesting ("my ELF weapon"):In hindsight, officials said, the report by the C.I.A. supervisor and the agency’s suspicions might have been the first serious warnings of the disclosures to come, and the biggest missed opportunity to review Mr. Snowden’s top-secret clearance or at least put his future work at the N.S.A. under much greater scrutiny.