NSA warned Bush it needed to monitor networks

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Sun Mar 20 12:41:48 EST 2005

On 18 Mar 2005 at 22:52, Steven M. Bellovin wrote:
> That paragraph, believe it or not, was classified Secret.
> For what it's worth, the official definition of "Secret",
> from Executive Order 12958
> (http://www.dss.mil/seclib/eo12958.htm), is:
>   "Secret" shall be applied to information, the unauthorized 
>   disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause
>   serious damage to the national security that the original
>   classification authority is able to identify or describe.

Obviously any bureaucrat with the authority to categorize
something as secret will more or less automatically so stamp
any information that passes through his hands, to inflate his
importance, and thus his job security and prospects for
promotion.  Similarly, he will spend any money he has authority
to spend, thus the never ending conflict between congress and
the SSSI bureacracy, who if they had their way would put every
single american, plus the dead and the pets, on SSSI

This results in "top secret" information being treated as not
very secret at all, as documented by Richard Feynman, which in
turn results in ever higher secrecy classifications, more top
than top, a process of classification inflation and debasement. 

         James A. Donald

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