Thursday, June 13, 2013

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE MINDING THE STORES?


So there's this vast federal facility for storing data in Utah, the Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center, and other federal storage facilities, which may have more data than is necessary or even useful in mining for information to protect us from terrorism and cyber attacks.  Vast as is the amount of information gathered and processed, the system did not work well enough to warn the federal agencies of the Tsarnaev brothers' plan to bomb the Boston Marathon, which leads me to think again of the possibility that more is less (Or is it less is more?) or TMI.

As marvelous as is the ability of the machines of technology to function all on their super-intelligent own, human interaction is sometimes necessary for monitoring, repairing, etc. in the facilities, so who are the people minding these stores?  We know that much of the work of government today, including collection and storage of data on persons at home and abroad for purposes of security, is contracted out to private companies.  Who are the people minding the privately-owned stores?

Edward Snowden is a high-school drop-out, who eventually obtained a GED and took college courses, after which he joined the U S Army Special Forces but was discharged after several months, according to Snowden, because he broke both legs in a training exercise.  The Army will not comment on why Snowden was discharged.  As I've said before, a person with Snowden's background does not seem to me an obviously wise choice for a position which requires top security clearance, and, indeed, the choice proved to be disastrous.

Perhaps the good that may come from the Snowden leaks is a conversation about how much information the government can and should be gathering and how it safeguards the information in its possession.