Sunday, December 18, 2005

ELINT is a Waste of Time

Thanks to a comment from Grace of Scriptoids, I realized that I do actually have something to add to the discussion of the NSA spying that was not authorized by FISA but authorized by the Prez.

I spent 8 years in Naval Intelligence and for a lot of that time I was tasked directly by NSA. I spent a lot of time on domestic intelligence under the guise of the 'War on Drugs' and I don't recall anything of import in all those mounds of data we collected. We heard a lot 'kiss and not tell' and a lot of boring 'I love you... I love you too' but very little 'intelligence'.
We did quite a bit of 'play acting', pretending to be the commies and seeing what we could learn by spying on ourselves which, in all honesty, proved very helpful and enlightening. I believe my efforts did tighten up our own communication security.

Let's get honest with ourselves. ELINT (electronic intelligence) is cool stuff and there has been a lot written about it even before 9/11. Pretty much everyone that can use a spoon has heard of 'Carnivore' and post 9/11 we heard all the news reports of how we were just slow translating ELINT or we would have had those guys. The '411' is that anyone that wants to keep a secret in this country does not use the public airwaves. You can assume that everything on the Internet, cellular networks, and landline telephone/telegraph are monitored continuosly. If you are a 'terrerist' and use the public communication channels to exchange secret stuff then you are dumber than a box of rocks. Granted we have to maintain our oversight just to keep everyone honest but that, in itself, guarantees that no serious operator is going to use the public channels to do his or her dirty deeds.

So, not only did Herr Bush violate any number of laws and the Constitution he probably did it for no reason. This only goes to show that not only is he a criminal but he and his staff are dumber than a box of rocks as well.

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