In light of the NSA leaks by Snowden, it’s been interesting to observe the conversations that have been going on the NSA since June. Let’s just say it’s been an interesting 5 months, with reactions from tech security experts to mainstream media to governments! Though what I found even more interesting is the conversation that was happening before the leaks. As I was tinkering around with historic twitter data sets, I did a random search of the keyword ‘NSA’ and decided to see what the oldest tweet mentioning the NSA said. What I discovered, is this tweet:
What you find is a link to an article from arsTechnica, that actually talks about Apple’s Tiger security configuration guides that was approved by the NSA! As it turns out NSA approved and collaborated with Apple over their Operating Software’s security, which I assume was/is common practice. What’s noticeable about the article is the lack of criticism and the matter of fact tone that it is assuming. It is thereby assumed that NSA approval of security configuration guides is a positive matter. (Note this article was published on March 20th , 2007.)
I would love to look at the trajectory of the conversation surrounding the NSA from 2007 leading up to the leaks in June, 2013. It would be interesting to run it over Twitter, since the platform provides a timeframe to that conversation that goes back to 7 years. It’s worth analyzing the shifts in conversations towards the NSA undertaking a more critical point of view. Did the shift happen before or after the leaks and if it started before the leaks how were they shaped?