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United States Government Privacy Security

Obama Nominates Vice Admiral Michael Rogers New NSA Chief 138

wiredmikey writes "President Barack Obama has nominated a US Navy officer, Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, to take over as head of the embattled National Security Agency, the Pentagon said Thursday. Rogers, 53, would take the helm at a fraught moment for the spy agency, which is under unprecedented pressure after leaks from ex-intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of its electronic spying. If confirmed by lawmakers, Rogers would also take over as head of the military's cyber warfare command. Rogers, who trained as an intelligence cryptologist, would succeed General Keith Alexander, who has served in the top job since 2005. He currently heads the US Fleet Cyber Command, overseeing the navy's cyber warfare specialists, and over a 30-year career has worked in cryptology and eavesdropping, or 'signals intelligence.' His confirmation hearings in the Senate are likely to be dominated by the ongoing debate about the NSA's espionage, and whether its sifting through Internet traffic and phone records violates privacy rights and democratic values."
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Obama Nominates Vice Admiral Michael Rogers New NSA Chief

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  • rebranded? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Infestedkudzu ( 2557914 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @08:14PM (#46115849)
    Is this what companies do when their product turns out to have lead paint in it or something.
  • by cervesaebraciator ( 2352888 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @08:36PM (#46115987)
    This suddenly makes me rather sad that the filibuster rules were changed for appointment confirmations. The Republicans had been using the filibuster against appointments far too frequently (traditionally one only goes after appointments if there is a serious problem), but this is precisely the kind of appointment where it might be useful. Even if I think most of them are cynical opportunists, I should very much like the opposition use this chance to put more pressure on the security state.
  • Re:rebranded? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by edibobb ( 113989 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @08:43PM (#46116039) Homepage
    This started long before Obama. The big data collection was almost inevitable because it became possible, economical, and easy to justify in the name of "national security." As long as they could keep it secret with virtually unlimited funding, it would keep growing regardless of who controlled the White House, Congress, or the Supreme Court.
  • Re:rebranded? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by khallow ( 566160 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @08:54PM (#46116095)
    The brand, "Committee for State Security" is currently available.
  • by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @08:55PM (#46116103)

    The business of Admirals is to kill people and destroy their property. An Admiral won't mind smaller violence like breaking constitutional law, lying to the public, and spending taxpayer dollars on projects to make money for a few.

    Which is exactly why they need to stop putting military people in these positions.

    Yes civilians can do that stuff too, but at least there's a chance, however small, that things might change. Putting another Admiral or General in charge guarantees that nothing will change.

  • by Zynder ( 2773551 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @09:02PM (#46116155)
    Dude, if they haven't dismantled the TSA, which visibly annoys people day in and day out, by now what even gave you a glimmer of hope it would happen this time? There have been so many opportunities to break up the TSA, repeal the Patriot Act, and all of the other nonsense that's been going but it seems the only person who gave a shit all of these years was Ron Paul. You see how well that went over. The only way you'll see the NSA or TSA dismantled will be when it becomes profitable for those who pay Congress' bills.
  • Re:Can you spy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @09:07PM (#46116179)

    That's the old hiring practice. The new practice adds the additional question "Are you willing to spy a lot on the American people?"

    Can you spy on the American People and play dumb, convincingly before Congress? (They authorized all this but now clamber over each other claiming shock and dismay while attempting to reach for the highest indignation.)

    No they didn't. Americans never voted on this crap. Hell, Congress had no time to read the Patriot act until after the vote either. After the fact we all heard about how the terrorist would kill all of our children if we repealed this law instead of having any rational debate.

    Now you could claim that American's have been complacent and let things happen, that much I would agree with. This would also explain some of their shock and dismay as they see what the complacency has turned into.

    Even that is questionable. One of Obama's Hope and Change speeches claimed that the Patriot act had to go, and that Government needed to be more transparent.

  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Thursday January 30, 2014 @09:17PM (#46116229) Journal

    The opposition had been using the filibuster against appointments far too frequently

    Fixed it for you. Hint: Democrats did the same thing.

    Worry not, they'll reap what they've sowed sooner or later, when the GOP controls the Senate and White House. Politics is cyclical.

  • Well, duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arielCo ( 995647 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:02PM (#46116487)

    The NSA's job is to spy, so it makes sense to hire SIGINT people. The recent problem is who they've been spying on.

  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @11:11PM (#46116815)

    > Why do you think a military officer would be less inclined to follow the law than a civilian?

    Why do you think a civilian would be more willing to follow illegal orders? The willingness of military to follow the chain of command is indoctrinated into them at every stage of their training and service. It is an _exceptional_ military leader who can see the larger political or moral picture. When those personnel's illegal orders or political abuses are walled behind national security claims, their indoctrinated willingness to follow orders without moral question encourages their actions, and political use of their willingness, to include abuse.

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Friday January 31, 2014 @12:00AM (#46117039) Journal

    It doesn't really matter when the thing started because agencies that ignore the existence of the Constitutions are malicious cancers that can one day kill the nation.

    It is up to the President of the United States to SHUT DOWN the offending agency (and / or agencies) in order to stem the malicious progression of these dangerous agencies.

    The fact that Obama refuses to shut it down says a lot about the lack of integrity of the individual. As the POTUS he has to answer not only to his own office, but also to the hundreds of millions of the Citizens of the United States of America - and in this role, Obama has failed his job as the POTUS, the oval office - the satus of which the POTUS represents, and, the ***NATION*** !

  • Re:rebranded? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday January 31, 2014 @01:18AM (#46117399) Journal

    Really, the only thing I think you can criticize Obama vs previous presidents over the NSA scandal is: his did actually run against this sort of snooping in his first presidential campaign. Not that it's shocking that a politician breaks his promises or anything, but you'd think when all this became public he might have been more publically critical.

  • Re:rebranded? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday January 31, 2014 @04:36AM (#46118117) Journal

    And this post highlights exactly why: when a trend that's been going on for decades across administrations from both major parties continues (or, worse, accelerates slightly), what happens? Half of Americans loudly blame the current incumbent, causing the other half to reflexively defend whatever this trend is.

    Hint: Government is not like sports. Don't mindlessly support the Red Team or the Blue Team, they're supposed to stand for something.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.