Sunday, September 15, 2013


Studying misrepresentation, and a pitch for monetizing the intel

Denial and Deception Advanced Studies Program (DDASP)

MSI 660 Introduction to Denial and Deception
MSI 662 Psychological/Cultural Aspects & National Security Decision Making
MSI 664 Adversaries, Organizations & Countermeasures
MSI 668 Tradecraft, Tools and Methodologies
MSI 629 Eight Day Offsite
BSI 419 Introduction to D&D
--a National Intelligence University course

by Larry Geller

Congress really ought to be upset that they are being lied to. But so far, they’re not. A Guardian article noted that lying is so central to the intelligence community that they even have classes on the subject:

The National Intelligence University, based in Washington, DC, offers a certificate program called the denial and deception advanced studies program. That's not a farcical sci-fi dystopia; it's a real program about countering denial and deception by other countries. The repeated misrepresentations suggest that the intelligence establishment has come to see its civilian bosses as adversaries to be managed through denial and deception.

We learned months ago that the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath to Congress. Now, we know that General Keith Alexander filed a "declaration" (which is like testifying in writing), asserting an interpretation of violations that the court said "strains credulity". The newly-disclosed 2009 opinion includes a whole section entitled "Misrepresentations to the Court"…

[The Guardian (UK), Time to tame the NSA behemoth trampling our rights, 9/13/2013]

The Guardian article, by Yochai Benkler, is a good read. Because of the lies, we didn’t know that the NSA is in possession of an unimaginable trove of information—and mostly it just sits there on disk drives, a wasted resource.

Most of the “intelligence” gathered by these programs is not about terrorists or potential terrorists, it is about ordinary people—you and me included. Yes, our phone calls and everything we do with our dumb- or smart-phones is on file at the NSA. They lied at first, but now the truth is out. And this suggests, to a fevered mind anyway, a path to monetizing some of that data.

What are we getting for our investment so far? Not much:

What did we actually know about what we got in exchange for undermining internet security, technology markets, internet social capital, and the American constitutional order? The intelligence establishment grew by billions of dollars; thousands of employees; and power within the executive. And we the people? Not so much. Court documents released this week show that after its first three years of operation, the best the intelligence establishment could show the judge overseeing the program was that it had led to opening "three new preliminary investigations". This showing, noted Judge Walton in his opinion, "does not seem very significant".

If Congress could be made to eliminate the massive NSA spy program, there would be one immediate benefit: zillions of cheap disk drives suddenly available on eBay.

Before doing that, though, they could hold a yard sale of the data. It could turn all that spying into a profit center.

One year of data on what your kids have been viewing on the Internet: $20 (cheap). On your spouse: $100.

Hot items could include what communications your elected representatives have been holding with their corporate sponsors. They could offer that intel for (say) $15 per congressperson, or on down to $5 per city councilperson per year, because there would be so many takers.

But what might break platinum would be recordings of former president Clinton’s phone conversations before he was impeached… just imagine for a moment what gold lies in that swamp of phone records.


Love your idea... spying on our lawmakers.


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