Then-CIA director and Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden in happier days, swearing in new recruits. http://www.rs.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/071207-F-9313S-003.jpg

Then-CIA director and Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden in happier days, swearing in new recruits.

NATIONAL HARBOR: Media outcry and public uproar over the Edward Snowden revelations have created a deeply demoralizing backlash against the US intelligence community and paralyzed key cybersecurity initiatives, Gen. Michael Hayden — former director of both the CIA and the NSA — said today.

“If you look at the psychic effect of Snowden on the American intelligence workforce,” he said this afternoon at the Air Force Association’s annual conference, “Jim [Clapper] and Keith [Alexander] will tell you they’re there and people are doing their job; they are; but they’re waking up every morning and expecting the daily indictment.”

It’s not just a morale problem, either. ”The most competent organization when it comes to cyber-stuff, hands down, is Cyber Command and NSA. Well, why don’t we just let those good folks at the NSA get out on the local network and defend us?” Hayden said. “Many of us actually think that’s a good idea, but that dog will not hunt” in the post-Snowden world.

“We certainly need more trained people and more technology, but fundamentally, fundamentally right now the long pole in the tent is policy and law,” Hayden said. “[National Security Agency director] Keith Alexander‘s got first round draft picks up there at Fort Meade who not only are not on the field, they aren’t even in the locker room suiting up. Why is that? Because we have not yet decided what it is we want our government to do to defend us on that web or what it is we will let our government do to defend us on that web — and frankly the last 90 days’ revelations have made this even worse.”

“The Snowden revelations…they’re being rolled out by polemicists in a very negative and frankly confused and inaccurate way, and it’s just feeding the natural American fear of government overreach,” Hayden lamented.

But the problem is bigger than any single incident: “It’s generational,” Hayden said. “Snowden and Manning are bad and they’re criminals, and I wish them everything they earn, but they are also representative — now, they’re bad representatives — but they’re also part of a generation whose definition of privacy and secrecy is pretty much unlike almost everyone else’s in this room,” he told the audience of military and industry officials, most in their 40s or 50s.

The US intelligence community needs to learn to cope with the digital generation’s demands for ever-greater transparency, Hayden said, or it may not be allowed to function at all.

Comments

  • ac77

    Interesting thought on privacy being “generational”. My 75 year old father knows just enough about using a computer to read the news and watch videos on YouTube. Even he seems to feel that this type of surveillance will lead to an Orwell-ian security state, and that, without sufficient oversight and transparency, the system could be abused by some with their own agenda. Apparently Fisa agrees based on recent comments from Judge Saylor.

    • Elliot

      your against government spying but you want more government interference, who can the NSA have transparency and protect us from terrorist attack at the same time while promoting privacy of information on an information distribution network.

  • Sabe_Moya

    Sad but true: your agency being caught red-handed with fingers in the cookie jar can be demoralising.

    • Elliot

      Everyone knows that private information does not go on the internet.

      • Sabe_Moya

        And that includes your not so private credit card data when trying to make a not so secure online payment.

        • Elliot

          People comment identity theft every 5 minuets, credit cards need more protection than a credit card number like for you to approve every purchase by a pin number over the phone. You seem to be interested in this how would you keep information private on a network that is designed to take information and spread it as far and wide as possible? The only way to keep information private is to not put it on the information distribution network at all. So yes exactly.

          • Sabe_Moya

            Your understanding of the intent of internet security, e-banking and e-commerce is evidently still at the 101 level.

          • Elliot

            because it is too easy to steal information online, using advance computer skills and and over the counter tech I can steal everything that you are. No one should take National Security into their own hands and everyone should be prepared for all information put on the internet to be copied and transited.

  • thomas vesely

    the war on drugs made the government lies and overreach visible.
    the government lied to 300 million people re, marijuana.
    100 million of them knew it was a lie and thus that the government is
    capable and indeed eager to lie.
    they are looking at nsa/tsa/cia/fbi, every official as a liar.
    the lies are coming home to roost.

    • thomas vesely

      a few more reasons for the disconnect;
      we know many died all over south america
      killed by your puppet dictators.
      we know about the tonkin incident.
      we know about the WMDs
      we don’t believe……..

      • Elliot

        Your words and that fact that you replied to your self is evidence that you are not the most stable person.

        • thomas vesely

          your words attest to your insignificance.

          • Elliot

            again not the most stable person

  • Plenum

    A few days ago, a headline and article said that the debate within the defence establishment regarding privacy and security never occurred – but should have. It took Snowden and Manning, both with a tremendous amount of courage, to “out” the information and provoke the issue into full fore, as it should be, or even should have been – at least in our Congress – well before Snowden and Manning. So, many in the defence community feel demoralized! No wonder. Smacked with the deceptive and illegal intents and results of what they should never have been doing at all, I, we, hope they look at their leadership and react aggressively towards them. The leadership is at the core and they alone bear the faults. Snowden and Manning exhibit the best qualities of citizens belonging to an open Democracy.

    The gigantic web of lies and endless deceptions cannot continue…

    • Elliot

      This can all go away when people realize that putting private information on a public information distribution network is not a good idea.

      • Plenum

        I agree. Private information should be private, as should be my communication with those I communicate with. However, when my communications are monitored and stored contrary to Constitutional intent and law, therefore violating my Right to Privacy – as has been for over a decade now – Snowden should be congratulated by the American people for his so-called, “whistle-blowing” (…such quaint, mediated terminology for such bold activity). No, it’s not a good idea to put private information in the public media, but worse for governments to spy on citizens without warning, warrant, or notice that they are doing so. The government, ours, is doing just that and should rightfully be exposed! Ask the Brazilian, the French, and Germans among many others what they think… The gov’t threw the first punch, it took Snowden to punch back. He should be congratulated! Which is worse? A continuing decade-long illegal activity that’s not easily stopped, or Snowden’s limited exposé?
        —-
        I put this “P.S.” on all my emails, and have done so for the last 8 years, at least: “NOTICE: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the National Security Agency and/or other agencies may have read this email without warning, warrant, or notice and in blatant violation of
        Constitutional rights to privacy. This illegal activity is performed without any judicial or legislative oversight, yet has been approved by the President of the United States without debate by the United States Congress.”

        ————

        I recommend and encourage anybody who reads this comment do so, as well.

        • Elliot

          Yes we should congratulated Snowden for fighting for human rights by revealing information we already knew, busting US spy rings while leaving foreign spy rings in the US intact, fleeing to China who have no due process rights and then to Russia where it is illegal to protest against the government and be gay while he rakes in millions of dollars in sympathy money. Snowden is the most popular Russian informant in US history. If you want to communicate privately then use US mail. What people like you need to realize is that information privacy is impossible on an information distribution network. The idea of privacy on the internet is new and impossible. Do NOT expect your information to be private when you put it on an information distribution network.

  • zrz

    is the american spy org,,that full of whimps that this situation made them feel bad,,,bo ho ho,,what a bunch of bullshit ,,im sure this info came out for some type of political ends,,,this orginization is way over there head,,we hope it implodes,,,

    • Elliot

      yes that way we can be like Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of our ability to fight militants, when you put stuff on the internet you forfeit your right to privacy

      • Sabe_Moya

        So does using your credit card for an online purchase give anyone and everyone the right to use that information, because using the net is a presumed forfeiture of confidentiality ? I don’t think so. And neither does the law in most civilised countries.

        • Elliot

          People comment identity theft every 5 minuets, credit cards need more protection than a credit card number like for you to approve every purchase by a pin number over the phone. You seem to be interested in this how would you keep information private on a network that is designed to take information and spread it as far and wide as possible? The only way to keep information private is to not put it on the information distribution network at all.

  • Don Bacon

    “Jim [Clapper] and Keith [Alexander] will tell you they’re there and people are doing their job; they are; but they’re waking up every morning and expecting the daily indictment.”

    As well they should, because they violated their oaths to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Plus Jim [Clapper] is a liar and should be tried for perjury for lying to Congress (“We’re not looking at citizen emails”).

    • Elliot

      Why not just not put private information on the internet

  • wgalison

    “public uproar”? Everyone I speak to, Republican or Democratic, sees Snowden as a defender of the Constitution. You and your colleagues at the NSA brought every bit of the public’s disdain upon yourselves. May Snowden inspire countless more NSA employees to put the interest of the American people above blind obedience to a corrupt organization.

    • Elliot

      you are one of the people dumb enough to actually put private information on the information distribution network, you won’t fell that way when the next terrorist strike happens or China decides to start cyber terrorism.

  • Think a bit

    Elliot, What do you not understand? Right now, everything is being vacuumed up by the spies, WHETHER YOU USE YOUR REAL CREDENTIALS OR NOT. This is not just about putting your name and adress, bank info etc etc on FB. It’s much more than that. Wake up.

    • Elliot

      It is the internet, it is designed to soak up and spread information, the government is just taking advantage of it like all governments in the world do, civilians have been tearing apart privacy from celebrities for decades the government does the same thing for national security. Every piece of gossip, every information about someone who did not approve of the information post you access is justifying NSA spying including pictures of you on Facebook your friends post without your connect is the same thing morally. If you don’t like you information distributed, then don’t get involved with the information distribution network “internet”. Facebook is as illegal as the NSA, but neither of them are going away because people can’t help but put private information everywhere.

  • Think a bit

    If you cannot (or refuse to see) the lies and hypocrisy, you are truly blind.

  • Edward

    Yes, it’s demoralizing to learn the Generals in charge ignore the law and lie to Congress. Shame on you Snowden.

  • Treeman

    What if the first round draft picks refused to play for them (think John leeway and the colts) because they just didn’t like the way they did business. First rounders have options

  • Joe

    I observe one real think. Becuase you cannot protect yourselve. we have to comeback to paper money not plastic one.

  • Bobserver

    “But the problem is bigger than any single incident: “It’s generational,”
    Hayden said. “Snowden and Manning are bad and they’re criminals, and I
    wish them everything they earn, but they are also representative — now,
    they’re bad representatives — but they’re also part of a generation
    whose definition of privacy and secrecy is pretty much unlike almost
    everyone else’s in this room,” he told the audience of military and
    industry officials, most in their 40s or 50s.”

    Not true.

    Shortly I’ll be moving beyond the latter age group and while I’m much older than Manning or Snowden can relate to their privacy views. My generation was brought up with an expectation, subject to not doing anything illegal, that my privacy is a right. In Common Law countries theere are laws against eavesdropping. Until quite recently any civilian authorities wanting to tap a person’s communications would have to get a court order.