Querem fugir à espionagem americana? Arranjem um email velhinho

A divulgação, por parte de Edward Snowden, da existência do programa PRISM, através do qual a National Security Agency (NSA) consegue ter acesso directo aos dados pessoais dos utilizadores da Google, Facebook e Microsoft, entre outras empresas, provocou um escândalo. Mais: provocou preocupações de segurança com a possibilidade de a privacidade dos cidadãos estar a ser violada. No entanto, a solução para evitar toda a espionagem parece estar na própria NSA.

Em resposta a uma questão da ProPublica, a NSA garante que não consegue fazer entrar nem sequer fazer uma pesquisa nos emails dos seus próprios funcionários. Motivo: o sistema de email da organização é “antiquado e arcaico”.  Já sabem: para proteger a vossa privacidade, recuperem os sistemas com mais de 10 anos.

“NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails

by Justin Elliott
ProPublica, July 23, 2013

The NSA is a “supercomputing powerhouse” with machines so powerful their speed is measured in thousands of trillions of operations per second. The agency turns its giant machine brains to the task of sifting through unimaginably large troves of data its surveillance programs capture.

But ask the NSA, as part of a freedom of information request, to do a seemingly simple search of its own employees’ email? The agency says it doesn’t have the technology.

“There’s no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately,” NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker told me last week.

The system is “a little antiquated and archaic,” she added.

I filed a request last week for emails between NSA employees and employees of the National Geographic Channel over a specific time period. The TV station had aired afriendly documentary on the NSA and I want to better understand the agency’s public-relations efforts.

A few days after filing the request, Blacker called, asking me to narrow my request since the FOIA office can search emails only “person by person,” rather than in bulk. The NSA has more than 30,000 employees.

I reached out to the NSA press office seeking more information but got no response.

It’s actually common for large corporations to do bulk searches of their employees email as part of internalinvestigations or legal discovery.

“It’s just baffling,” says Mark Caramanica of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “This is an agency that’s charged with monitoring millions of communications globally and they can’t even track their own internal communications in response to a FOIA request.”

Federal agencies’ public records offices are often underfunded, according to Lucy Dalglish, dean of the journalism school at University of Maryland and a longtime observer of FOIA issues.

But, Daglish says, “If anybody is going to have the money to engage in evaluation of digital information, it’s the NSA for heaven’s sake.”

Este é o novo data center da NSA, no Utah. Foto: George Frey/Getty

Este é o novo data center da NSA, no Utah. Foto: George Frey/Getty

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