NSA: Antiquated and Archaic

But ask the NSA as part of a freedom of information request to do a seemingly simple search of its own employees’ e-mail? The agency says it doesn’t have the technology.

“There’s no central method to search an e-mail at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately,” NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker told me last week. The system is “a little antiquated and archaic,” she added.

I filed a request last week for e-mails between NSA employees and employees of the National Geographic Channel over a specific time period. The TV station had aired a friendly documentary on the NSA and I want to better understand the agency’s public-relations efforts.

A few days after filing the request, Blacker called, asking me to narrow my request since the FOIA office can search e-mails only “person by person,” rather than in bulk. The NSA has more than 30,000 employees.

(via)

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