A lighted candle in the dark shines much brighter than at noon, in the bright sun.
Right now, the National Security Agency‘s internal division responsible for assuring the security of the NSA may very well be blinded by too much public exposure of the organization. The NSA’s immune system may be quite vulnerable at the moment and for many more months, and perhaps even years to come.
Or, to put it differently, the NSA may be suffering a DDoS attack directed against its self-protecting mechanisms. This doesn’t restrict her ability to execute her primary mission, but it does put all data that she collects at risk of being leaked outside of the NSA, with pretty dire consequences for everyone, within and without.
Since Edward Snowden went public about NSA’s mass surveillance program, the whole world is talking and posting about the NSA. Be they blogs, tweets, facebook, mainstream media, phone calls, or private offline conversations, it’s NSA here, NSA there… non-stop, unrelenting.
The number of communications relating to the NSA has grown exponentially over a very short period of time. And this spells disaster for the division within the NSA that is supposed to patrol the network, looking for all direct of indirect references to the NSA in an effort to protect the Agency from careless or disgruntled employees talking publicly while they’re, of course, supposed to not say anything.
The NSA’s “immune system” that keeps NSA personnel honest, may be blinded by too much light at the moment. And because the number of communications regarding the NSA doesn’t seem to subside yet, that’s an ongoing vulnerability that could prove quite harmful, not only to the NSA, but to all those whose data are being collected and stored there.
Eventually, the wave of NSA-related communications will die down, but the piles of traces that are being left behind will occupy the NSA security officers for a long time, draining their resources and time.
An NSA with a weakened immune system may be a far greater danger to the world than a healthy NSA that knows how to keep its secrets securely locked away. We can only hope that the gargantuan amount of data that is being collected there is watched very carefully, and that the watchers are themselves being watched closely.
Oh, and this applies to GCHQ and similar spying agencies as well!