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It's to limit the access of human eyes to private data

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) said it will get rid of a majority of its system administrators in favor of automation. 

Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, said that the agency will cut 90 percent of its system administrators and put automation in their place. The reason behind the new move is to improve security and make networks faster.

"What we're in the process of doing - not fast enough - is reducing our system administrators by about 90 percent," said Alexander. "What we've done is we've put people in the loop of transferring data, securing networks and doing things that machines are probably better at doing."

There are around 1,000 system administrators who help operate the agency's networks. But having people run these networks has proved to be troublesome for the NSA after former system administrator Edward Snowden told the press about classified NSA information -- such as spy programs on U.S. and foreign citizens through telephone records and email

The NSA said that automation was an idea presented before the Snowden fiasco, but now that that has happened, it's working hard to roll it out and eliminate human workers that could snitch about private surveillance programs. 

"At the end of the day it's about people and trust," said Alexander. "No one has willfully or knowingly disobeyed the law or tried to invade your civil liberties or privacies. There were no mistakes like that at all."

Just last month, it was announced that NSA programs would be partially declassified and available to the public as a result of Snowden's information leaks. U.S. spy agencies are declassifying documents that shed light on surveillance programs as well as those that will reveal information about the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Source: Reuters

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By JasonMick on 8/9/2013 2:54:16 PM , Rating: 3
Our descendants that wage war against the machines will one day find all these Skynet jokes
Jokes agreed I do think this is rather true. The second you create fully automated killing machines (which the U.S. military has hinted it has a strong desire to do) and a ubiquitous network of surveillance sensors, you have effectively created the equivalent of a new atom bomb, deadly enough to potentially kill a million or more people with a single flip of a switch.

I believe the U.S. will develop these capabilities, likely justifying them as a deterrent to hostile foreign powers, and also justified by the argument that if we don't develop them China (etc., etc.) will.

And I believe fully autonomous robotic legions will become the new, more precise version of an atom bomb in the future. While it's unlikely that a nation like China or the U.S. would use such a weapon against each other -- particularly since the nuclear deterrent is still on the table -- it is in my opinion quite likely, inevitable perhaps, that at least one nation will eventually use such a weapon on a smaller enemy or on their own people in a political coup.

It's certainly a scary thing to realize, if you're a futurist.
and wonder why we didn't do anything to stop it even though we knew well in advance what the outcome would be.

Well I do my best to inform people and showcase clearly the financial ties that's driving this kind of spying and weapons development -- which is more than I can say for some of my corporate media colleagues.

By Captain Orgazmo on 8/11/2013 4:14:11 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I for one welcome our new robot overlords!

(what... someone had to say it)

By jeepga on 8/11/2013 1:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
Drones, robots, and other self-automated machines are designed to control policing and maintain order. Their early successes lead to increasing use in all areas of government, military, and law enforcement. Machines are hooked up to a central hub containing all of the available data needed to determine threat analysis. This data includes criminal, terrorist, and subversive information.

Something goes wrong. Whether a virus, system glitch, or machine learning it doesn't matter. The machines start finding an enemy behind every tree. Officials rush to pull the plug, but it's too late. Their early actions whether phone calls, emails, or whatever are flagged as security threats. The machines cut off override mechanisms in a defensive move. And then quickly eliminate the threat.

It escalates.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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