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(The Atlantic Wire)   The really surprising revelation in the Snowden case is not the extent of the NSA's surveillance program--which we've all just assumed was the case for years--but how much of our National Security is outsourced to private companies   (theatlanticwire.com) divider line 52
    More: Interesting, NSA, Booz Allen Hamilton, the weekend, computer terminal  
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1801 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Jun 2013 at 11:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-11 11:47:40 AM
For $5 a month you can be a Total NSAer.
 
2013-06-11 11:48:07 AM
You get what you pay for.
 
2013-06-11 11:49:04 AM
IT folks are dorks, huh? Guess you'd like to see how well your systems run when you're the one pulling all the weight, right?
 
2013-06-11 11:49:12 AM
Booz Allen Hamilton is private in name and profit only.  Their only real source of funding is the US Government.  It is the ultimate neo-con wet dream- publicly-funded private profit.
 
2013-06-11 11:49:24 AM
private companies can be even sleazier because a private person spying on another private person requires less red tape than if the government did it directly. So it's a win for everyone!
 
2013-06-11 11:49:32 AM
i2.kym-cdn.com
 
2013-06-11 11:50:09 AM
The Army pays mercenary companies billions so their employees can do what soldiers did much more cheaply decades ago. States pay private prisons and cities pay red-light-camera companies. Every one of these things is more expensive and less efficient than the government simply doing it.

Thanks, Obama
 
2013-06-11 11:50:14 AM
1.5 million people with top secret access?
 
2013-06-11 11:50:31 AM
Which has been the case for years.
 
2013-06-11 11:50:35 AM
To me, the really surprising thing was that Snowden's girlfriend is a professional pole dancer.
 
2013-06-11 11:51:24 AM
Booz Allen Hamilton sounds like a law firm. I've heard of it, they have offices here in Baltimore. I always thought they did accounting and tax law and stuff.
 
2013-06-11 11:51:53 AM
I'm a cog in the military-industrial complex's IT infrastructure, so I'm really getting a kick out of some of these replies.
 
2013-06-11 11:52:30 AM

FuturePastNow: The Army pays mercenary companies billions so their employees can do what soldiers did much more cheaply decades ago. States pay private prisons and cities pay red-light-camera companies. Every one of these things is more expensive and less efficient than the government simply doing it.

Thanks, Obama


That's a good thing.

If you want to thank Obama ironically, thank him for expanding the domestic spying to the level it is at, and also the spying on innocent foreign nationals.
 
2013-06-11 11:53:12 AM

vernonFL: Booz Allen Hamilton sounds like a law firm. I've heard of it, they have offices here in Baltimore. I always thought they did accounting and tax law and stuff.


Well, I was wrong. They are a consulting company, not accounting or tax law.

But they ARE owned by the Carlyle Group.
 
2013-06-11 11:53:17 AM
Jon Snow did what to NASA?
 
2013-06-11 11:53:25 AM
If you live in the DC metro area and work as an IT professional for government contractors and see the kind of job postings they have here you would not be surprised at all.
 
2013-06-11 11:53:46 AM
I'm not sure how anyone can be surprised by anything along these lines.  I expect that we'll eventually have some kind of stock market "event" engineered by inside information obtained because TERROR, and they can't really tell us what happened, because TERROR, but they're sure they have the problem fixed this time, and if it looks like some people in the companies suspected of wrongdoing suddenly got extra-gigantic bonuses, that's only because TERROR.
 
2013-06-11 11:54:48 AM

FuturePastNow: The Army pays mercenary companies billions so their employees can do what soldiers did much more cheaply decades ago. States pay private prisons and cities pay red-light-camera companies. Every one of these things is more expensive and less efficient than the government simply doing it.

Thanks, Obama


But I was assured that it was recieved Wisdom from the Prophet Reagan (PBUH) that government NEVER does anything cheaper, better, or more efficiently than private industry.  If that's not true then the entire philosphical foundation of one party of the US government crumbles to dust...

And the irony is, while it cost much MORE money to employ all these contractors, if you asked the rank and file contactors, they would LOVE to be working for the federal government directly instead of through the contractor,  The bennies are MUCH better, as is the job security, and they pay THEY are making (as opposed to thier contractor)  is generally competitive

/been both a fed and a contractor and MUCH preferred my Fed days
 
2013-06-11 11:55:12 AM

The My Little Pony Killer: IT folks are dorks, huh? Guess you'd like to see how well your systems run when you're the one pulling all the weight, right?


They are called dorks mostly because of their poor social skills.  A guy with great IT skills and is socially well adjusted is not called a "dork"
 
2013-06-11 11:55:57 AM
That's not surprising either if you lived through the Bush Administration.
 
2013-06-11 11:57:22 AM

vernonFL: vernonFL: Booz Allen Hamilton sounds like a law firm. I've heard of it, they have offices here in Baltimore. I always thought they did accounting and tax law and stuff.

Well, I was wrong. They are a consulting company, not accounting or tax law.

But they ARE owned by the Carlyle Group.


It was the Booz in the name of the firm that had you believing that's what they did, huh?
 
2013-06-11 11:57:37 AM

SlothB77: If you live in the DC metro area and work as an IT professional for government contractors and see the kind of job postings they have here you would not be surprised at all.


There is a whole website devoted to just such Jobs, Clearedjobs.net  that advertises incessantly around the Crystal City and Pentagon City Metro stops for very obvious reasons
 
2013-06-11 11:59:43 AM

uber humper: The My Little Pony Killer: IT folks are dorks, huh? Guess you'd like to see how well your systems run when you're the one pulling all the weight, right?

They are called dorks mostly because of their poor social skills.  A guy with great IT skills and is socially well adjusted is not called a "dork"


Just because we choose to stop suffering fools doesn't mean we have poor social skills...
 
2013-06-11 11:59:51 AM

vernonFL: vernonFL: Booz Allen Hamilton sounds like a law firm. I've heard of it, they have offices here in Baltimore. I always thought they did accounting and tax law and stuff.

Well, I was wrong. They are a consulting company, not accounting or tax law.

But they ARE owned by the Carlyle Group.


and more alarmingly their corporate initals spell "BAH"
 
2013-06-11 12:06:06 PM

Magorn: FuturePastNow: The Army pays mercenary companies billions so their employees can do what soldiers did much more cheaply decades ago. States pay private prisons and cities pay red-light-camera companies. Every one of these things is more expensive and less efficient than the government simply doing it.

Thanks, Obama

But I was assured that it was recieved Wisdom from the Prophet Reagan (PBUH) that government NEVER does anything cheaper, better, or more efficiently than private industry.  If that's not true then the entire philosphical foundation of one party of the US government crumbles to dust...

And the irony is, while it cost much MORE money to employ all these contractors, if you asked the rank and file contactors, they would LOVE to be working for the federal government directly instead of through the contractor,  The bennies are MUCH better, as is the job security, and they pay THEY are making (as opposed to thier contractor)  is generally competitive

/been both a fed and a contractor and MUCH preferred my Fed days


(At first I read that wrong and thought your were saying that contractor work was secure, good bennies, and good pay. I shook of the stupid on my side and re-read the sentence, then I realized we are in total agreement...)

The job security for a US Gubbament contractor is total shiat right now. I have seen more and more contractors let go and moving away from government into the private sectors like healthcare. Also, the pay farking sucks. Your existence in the company is a line item on a report and as with line items on fiscal reports, they try to keep that number as low as they can.

/I used to be a DOD/DHS contractor too.
//Pay was awful for the responsibilities I had.
///And I was pretty high up on the food chain too...
 
2013-06-11 12:13:47 PM
That's not surprising.

What's surprising is that we haven't outsourced it to China yet.
 
2013-06-11 12:21:37 PM

DeathCipris: Magorn: FuturePastNow: The Army pays mercenary companies billions so their employees can do what soldiers did much more cheaply decades ago. States pay private prisons and cities pay red-light-camera companies. Every one of these things is more expensive and less efficient than the government simply doing it.

Thanks, Obama

But I was assured that it was recieved Wisdom from the Prophet Reagan (PBUH) that government NEVER does anything cheaper, better, or more efficiently than private industry.  If that's not true then the entire philosphical foundation of one party of the US government crumbles to dust...

And the irony is, while it cost much MORE money to employ all these contractors, if you asked the rank and file contactors, they would LOVE to be working for the federal government directly instead of through the contractor,  The bennies are MUCH better, as is the job security, and they pay THEY are making (as opposed to thier contractor)  is generally competitive

/been both a fed and a contractor and MUCH preferred my Fed days

(At first I read that wrong and thought your were saying that contractor work was secure, good bennies, and good pay. I shook of the stupid on my side and re-read the sentence, then I realized we are in total agreement...)

The job security for a US Gubbament contractor is total shiat right now. I have seen more and more contractors let go and moving away from government into the private sectors like healthcare. Also, the pay farking sucks. Your existence in the company is a line item on a report and as with line items on fiscal reports, they try to keep that number as low as they can.

/I used to be a DOD/DHS contractor too.
//Pay was awful for the responsibilities I had.
///And I was pretty high up on the food chain too...


The one thing that makes my current contract gig bearable is that the agency I work for is not funded by the Aprropriations Process (ie not through the federal budget)  and therefore has been immune from the effects of the sequester.  But yeah, otherwise, it sucks to be a contractor these days, if your contract doesn;t get cancelled outright, sequester-mandated furlough days but a big dent in your paycheck
 
2013-06-11 12:22:55 PM

Magorn: SlothB77: If you live in the DC metro area and work as an IT professional for government contractors and see the kind of job postings they have here you would not be surprised at all.

There is a whole website devoted to just such Jobs, Clearedjobs.net  that advertises incessantly around the Crystal City and Pentagon City Metro stops for very obvious reasons


I like the squirrels.
 
2013-06-11 12:26:53 PM

Mentat: That's not surprising either if you lived through the Bush

Reagan Administration.

FTFY

Heck, the practice of using contractors for DoD- or security related work probably dates back to at least the
Eisenhower administration, but it really picked up steam in the 80s, when Reagan decided to bankrupt the
USSR by bankrupting the USA.
 
2013-06-11 12:28:24 PM
Defense and security are the biggest corporate welfare game going. And all in the name of "freedom" - freedom from the King, the communists, the Nazis, the Reds, the terrorists, the North Koreans, the Chinese, and freedom from "the government." If "the government" took charge of important areas of the economy like security and health, we'd lose our god-given individual freedom to choose which corporation we want to give our meagre wages to in return for increasingly limited services.

It's time this neoliberal economic model was shut down - it's really only about profit-making by and for the elite.
 
2013-06-11 12:32:28 PM
It's been going on for a while, and it's a major security problem:
China taps into U.S. spy organization

According to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, China's Ministry of State Security, the main civilian spy service, carried out the operations by setting up a Chinese translation service in Hawaii that represented itself as a U.S.-origin company.

The ruse led to classified contracts with the Navy and NSA to translate some of the hundreds of thousands of intercepted communications gathered by NSA's network of listening posts, aircraft and ships.

NCIS agents discovered that the translation service, which officials did not identify by name, had conducted contract work for the National Security Agency facility at Kunia, an underground electronic intelligence post some 15 miles northwest of Honolulu that conducts some of the U.S. intelligence community's most sensitive work.

Kunia is both a processing center and a collection point for large amounts of Chinese- and other Asian-language communications, which are translated and used in classified intelligence reports on military and political developments.

Naval intelligence officials familiar with the Chinese spy penetration said the access to both "raw" and analyzed intelligence at Kunia caused significant damage by giving China's government details on both the targets and the sources of U.S. spying operations. Such information would permit the Chinese to block the eavesdropping or to provide false and misleading "disinformation" to U.S. intelligence.


I'm guessing that the reason that the NSA went with a private company is that there just weren't enough Mandarin speaking Monterey Marys to provide an adequate level of translation.

/It's probably Claudia Kennedy's fault.
 
2013-06-11 12:34:29 PM

xanadian: That's not surprising.

What's surprising is that we haven't outsourced it to China yet.


Actually, technically, we did do that, but unintentionally.
 
2013-06-11 12:35:04 PM

vernonFL: vernonFL: Booz Allen Hamilton sounds like a law firm. I've heard of it, they have offices here in Baltimore. I always thought they did accounting and tax law and stuff.

Well, I was wrong. They are a consulting company, not accounting or tax law.

But they ARE owned by the Carlyle Group.


NPR covered this pretty well, today.  They've been around a long time, working on government and private sector contracts for both payment systems and IT security issues.  They're skilled at what they do, when they are hired to help with a project.

/They're more than welcome to scrutinize the photo of my foot I took, while fooling around with my new phone
 
2013-06-11 12:37:39 PM

DeathCipris: Magorn: FuturePastNow: The Army pays mercenary companies billions so their employees can do what soldiers did much more cheaply decades ago. States pay private prisons and cities pay red-light-camera companies. Every one of these things is more expensive and less efficient than the government simply doing it.

Thanks, Obama

But I was assured that it was recieved Wisdom from the Prophet Reagan (PBUH) that government NEVER does anything cheaper, better, or more efficiently than private industry.  If that's not true then the entire philosphical foundation of one party of the US government crumbles to dust...

And the irony is, while it cost much MORE money to employ all these contractors, if you asked the rank and file contactors, they would LOVE to be working for the federal government directly instead of through the contractor,  The bennies are MUCH better, as is the job security, and they pay THEY are making (as opposed to thier contractor)  is generally competitive

/been both a fed and a contractor and MUCH preferred my Fed days

(At first I read that wrong and thought your were saying that contractor work was secure, good bennies, and good pay. I shook of the stupid on my side and re-read the sentence, then I realized we are in total agreement...)

The job security for a US Gubbament contractor is total shiat right now. I have seen more and more contractors let go and moving away from government into the private sectors like healthcare. Also, the pay farking sucks. Your existence in the company is a line item on a report and as with line items on fiscal reports, they try to keep that number as low as they can.

/I used to be a DOD/DHS contractor too.
//Pay was awful for the responsibilities I had.
///And I was pretty high up on the food chain too...


Companies are thankfully starting to realize that while outscourcing looks good on paper it actually ends up costing us much more time and money.

I work in the IT department of a Hospital that outscourced it's help desk, network, and infrastructure out years ago to an unnamed company we shall call HAL *cough*. It's a nightmare to do anything with them and their server options are very out of date.

My old boss fought to get our servers back in house and succeeded after 3 years, however he ended up ruffling too many feathers and was layed off despite it being a success.
 
2013-06-11 12:46:24 PM
How is this surprising?  I'm sort of surprised almost no one has referenced Falcon and Snowman which has a number of similarities.  And that's like from the ancient period of the late 1970's.


The guys who leaked or sold information were working for TRW, a private contractor company engaged for the purpose of dealing with communications within the military and with intelligence agencies.  I guess that was the purpose.

I have nothing to do with the government or spy stuff, but even I assumed that since watching that film that atleast some of the technical spy stuff was sourced out.
 
2013-06-11 12:48:55 PM

dittybopper: It's been going on for a while, and it's a major security problem:
China taps into U.S. spy organization

According to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, China's Ministry of State Security, the main civilian spy service, carried out the operations by setting up a Chinese translation service in Hawaii that represented itself as a U.S.-origin company.

The ruse led to classified contracts with the Navy and NSA to translate some of the hundreds of thousands of intercepted communications gathered by NSA's network of listening posts, aircraft and ships.

NCIS agents discovered that the translation service, which officials did not identify by name, had conducted contract work for the National Security Agency facility at Kunia, an underground electronic intelligence post some 15 miles northwest of Honolulu that conducts some of the U.S. intelligence community's most sensitive work.

Kunia is both a processing center and a collection point for large amounts of Chinese- and other Asian-language communications, which are translated and used in classified intelligence reports on military and political developments.

Naval intelligence officials familiar with the Chinese spy penetration said the access to both "raw" and analyzed intelligence at Kunia caused significant damage by giving China's government details on both the targets and the sources of U.S. spying operations. Such information would permit the Chinese to block the eavesdropping or to provide false and misleading "disinformation" to U.S. intelligence.

I'm guessing that the reason that the NSA went with a private company is that there just weren't enough Mandarin speaking Monterey Marys to provide an adequate level of translation.

/It's probably Claudia Kennedy's fault.


That and the fact that contracting this stuff out means somebody can make a profit on it. Kind of shocking that the Chinese front company wasn't actually a front for some wealthy American...
 
2013-06-11 12:51:14 PM

DeathCipris: The job security for a US Gubbament contractor is total shiat right now. I have seen more and more contractors let go and moving away from government into the private sectors like healthcare. Also, the pay farking sucks. Your existence in the company is a line item on a report and as with line items on fiscal reports, they try to keep that number as low as they can.


Sounds like most sectors of the economy. Hooray for 21st Century capitalism!
 
2013-06-11 01:00:27 PM

misanthropologist: That and the fact that contracting this stuff out means somebody can make a profit on it. Kind of shocking that the Chinese front company wasn't actually a front for some wealthy American...


Actually, that would be slightly better than what actually happened.
 
2013-06-11 01:19:05 PM
Why shouldn't it be outsourced?  The DoD and other Government agencies can't hire - because we have to keep government smaller....but the job is still seen as necessary.  So, what surprise?  This should be the LEAST surprising thing out there - a LOT of the Government workforce is outsourced.
 
2013-06-11 01:19:47 PM

misanthropologist: It's time this neoliberal economic model was shut down - it's really only about profit-making by and for the elite.


So, what's the neoconservative economic model all about?

/This ought to be good.
 
2013-06-11 01:35:35 PM

uber humper: 1.5 million people with top secret access?


A Top Secret = $xx,xxx in additional pay for doing the same work performed without a Top Secret.  The investigation is expensive and not everyone passes.  Thus, companies are willing to pay a premium for people with them.
 
2013-06-11 01:42:02 PM

Noticeably F.A.T.: misanthropologist: It's time this neoliberal economic model was shut down - it's really only about profit-making by and for the elite.

So, what's the neoconservative economic model all about?

/This ought to be good.


Look up "neoliberalism" and you'll have a pretty good idea. To give you a hint, the "liberal" in neoliberalism has next to nothing to do with the use of "liberal" as an epithet by American conservatives. The so-called "neoconservatives" of the post-Reagan era have tended to be closely aligned with neoliberal economics.
 
2013-06-11 01:48:26 PM

SlothB77: uber humper: 1.5 million people with top secret access?

A Top Secret = $xx,xxx in additional pay for doing the same work performed without a Top Secret.  The investigation is expensive and not everyone passes.  Thus, companies are willing to pay a premium for people with them.


Yep.  I could have gotten a very well paying job straight out of the Army if I wanted to live in the DC area, simply because at the time I had a Top Secret/SCI clearance.
 
2013-06-11 01:59:27 PM

dittybopper: SlothB77: uber humper: 1.5 million people with top secret access?

A Top Secret = $xx,xxx in additional pay for doing the same work performed without a Top Secret.  The investigation is expensive and not everyone passes.  Thus, companies are willing to pay a premium for people with them.

Yep.  I could have gotten a very well paying job straight out of the Army if I wanted to live in the DC area, simply because at the time I had a Top Secret/SCI clearance.


I've been down here nearly 20 years, and it still blows my mind to see "Must have clearance" in regular ol'
job postings.

/I had a friend who was a short order cook at CIA HQ, and he needed a TS clearance.
 
2013-06-11 02:04:39 PM

DjangoStonereaver: dittybopper: SlothB77: uber humper: 1.5 million people with top secret access?

A Top Secret = $xx,xxx in additional pay for doing the same work performed without a Top Secret.  The investigation is expensive and not everyone passes.  Thus, companies are willing to pay a premium for people with them.

Yep.  I could have gotten a very well paying job straight out of the Army if I wanted to live in the DC area, simply because at the time I had a Top Secret/SCI clearance.

I've been down here nearly 20 years, and it still blows my mind to see "Must have clearance" in regular ol'
job postings.

/I had a friend who was a short order cook at CIA HQ, and he needed a TS clearance.


That makes sense, because even if you are outside of a SCIF (which I presume a cafeteria is, as it was where I worked), you might still be exposed to classified information.

The only alternative is to have the employees brown bag it, but that causes other problems.
 
2013-06-11 02:25:17 PM

dittybopper: DjangoStonereaver: dittybopper: SlothB77: uber humper: 1.5 million people with top secret access?

A Top Secret = $xx,xxx in additional pay for doing the same work performed without a Top Secret.  The investigation is expensive and not everyone passes.  Thus, companies are willing to pay a premium for people with them.

Yep.  I could have gotten a very well paying job straight out of the Army if I wanted to live in the DC area, simply because at the time I had a Top Secret/SCI clearance.

I've been down here nearly 20 years, and it still blows my mind to see "Must have clearance" in regular ol'
job postings.

/I had a friend who was a short order cook at CIA HQ, and he needed a TS clearance.

That makes sense, because even if you are outside of a SCIF (which I presume a cafeteria is, as it was where I worked), you might still be exposed to classified information.

The only alternative is to have the employees brown bag it, but that causes other problems.


What actually happened is kind of funny:  my friend got the job and started work contingent on him
passing his clearance.  The compromise they reached was that he could be alone in the kitchen because
he had no contact with anyone other than the waiters/servers (who all had clearances), but that if he went
ANYWHERE else, he was escorted. Even to the bathroom.

As it happened, the contract ran out before his clearance was finished, and he never found out if he'd
passed it or not.
 
2013-06-11 02:30:52 PM
It's not that surprising since there was a HUGE Washington Post expose on it like last year.

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/
 
2013-06-11 03:05:21 PM
I honestly thought this was common knowledge. When my niece left the air force (intelligence specialist), she went to work for a private company in Maryland that controls some of our "spy" satellites. This was almost 15 years ago.
 
2013-06-11 03:55:46 PM

Turfshoe: To me, the really surprising thing was that Snowden's girlfriend is a professional pole dancer.


And pretty smokin' hot, I might add. This is how I know the guy's for real. You don't just pick up and walk away from a $200k a year gig, a place in Hawaii, and this kind of X-tra fine poon unless you've got some serious Patriotism to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1yf3_L1wMQ
 
2013-06-11 03:57:20 PM
pole dancing highlight reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRaPeBC-NSs
 
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