IRS Tells NSA How to Do Its Job

The IRS just fact-checked the NSA’s wiretapping ass.

According to an unsubstantiated claim made by a man alleging to be an IRS worker with a week to go on the job, his boss, a more experienced data miner who came to the IRS courtesy of Homeland Security along with some security clearance, said:

    “When the US was training the Afghan people to fight the Soviets, they did something very stupid – they not only taught them how to fight a land war, but they gave them a translated copy of the CIA counter-intelligence manual. Some asshole essentially gave Al-Qaeda the CIA playbook. Ergo, Al Qaeda knows better than to use the phone or email to communicate.”

Sure, but what about the Al-Qaeda inside our hearts?

Ranting, rumor and gay IRS auditors, after the jump…

Short Timer Syndrome writes:

    “I have something to add to the data mining stories. You already suspected this, but I think it helps to be reminded.

    I am a data miner with the IRS, so I have not been involved in any of the NSA craziness (although I did interview at the NSA once, since it was my hot-shit linguistic skills that lured me from Seattle to DC; however the w33d-smokin’ stylinz’ of my previous lifestyle caught up with me, my urine had seeds and stems in it, and I was denied clearance. But hey, that meant they didn’t have to bother firing me because I’m gay! Ooooh eat THAT, NSA! Burn!!)

    My work here catches tax fraud. I work with ‘bleached’ data, which is to say that I can look at data collected from an individual return without ever seeing a person’s private information (besides the numbers on their tax forms, which is pretty private stuff.) But I can do my job without it – once a return is flagged, then it passes to a human in Criminal Investigations who decides whether or not to do an audit. It’s not very Big Brother over here.

    I was having a discussion with my boss when the NSA stories first started coming out. He’s a more experienced data miner who came onto this project from a Homeland Security thing, and he’s got clearance, so he’s been around a bit. He reminded me that when the US was training the Afghan people to fight the Soviets, they did something very stupid – they not only taught them how to fight a land war, but they gave them a translated copy of the CIA counter-intelligence manual. Some asshole essentially gave Al-Qaeda the CIA playbook.

    Ergo, Al Qaeda knows better than to use the phone or email to communicate.

    It follows that there is NO VALID REASON for the NSA to gather phone data – no terrorism is going to be fought with it, unless you count (cue that scene from “Fahrenheit 9/11″) people who go to peace activist groups and sit around munching on homemade cookies. The only reason for them to gather data is the one you fear – that they just want to spy on their own citizens.

    Carnivore never died, either; it just got its name changed and lives on. So I’d better send this from a home address, huh! Not that it matters, I’m only on this contract another week and then it’s off to grad school.”

Comments

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  1. BigTDog says:

    Weren’t the Afghans trained before the existence of the internets?

  2. clash42 says:

    define “the internets”. in the modern sense of the word? yes, we trained the Afghans before the internet as we know it was around. though there were things vaguely similar to the internet well before that, i don’t have any specifics, but look it up. you’d be surprised…

  3. If the CIA hasn’t made changes to their “playbook” since the 1980′s then they have more problems than just giving it away to guerillas.

  4. LLH says:

    i’m betting it was just a blanket “electronic communications” whether it be by phone, fax, wire, morse code etc…

    and any way, a big “DAH”. paraniod extremists are going to figure this out, with or without the CIA’s helpful hand. unless of course the NSA has a direct tap on the line to allah. then the tap might actually come in handy.

  5. Transuranic says:

    Remember, kids, it’s not paranoia if they’re out to get you. And hmm, it kinda seems like they’re out to get someone – they’re just not sure who yet.

    In any case, the point remains – a reminder that there’s no legitimate reason for them to do it, because their ostensible enemies aren’t using those channels. Unless, of course, they’re pirates, in which case they ARRRRRRRok I’m stopping.

  6. TechnoDestructo says:

    Because enemies know that the F22 is an unstoppable air-superiority fighter, they would never bother trying to fight from the air, so there is no reason for the F22 to exist, except for blah blah blah.

    Intelligence can work the same way. Because people know you’re listening, they have to rely upon less efficient means of communication. You’re denying them use of certain media even if you can’t actually listen to them.