William Nolte on C-SPAN, 2/7/2014: “secretive is about behavior”

In a speech on 2/7/2014 regarding “the future of counterintelligence” following Edward Snowden’s disclosures, William Nolte tried to defend the abhorrent secrecy of the global intelligence bodies. William Nolte is a former NSA historian, CFR member, worked for the CIA, was “education and training director” with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and recently selected by AFCEA International to head an “intelligence committee.”

Here are a few quotes from this speech:

“…nothing NSA did… barring some mistakes… was done without the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approving it… it is not a secretive court. Secretive is about behavior; it’s secretive by legislation that created it.”

“…we try to do secret stuff to a great degree in the public eye, and I don’t think the people acknowledge that”

That second quote made me chuckle.

Well, it beats me and likely millions of other Americans which legislation created the “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court!” I had never even heard of such a court before I decided to flip on C-SPAN.

So what Mister Nolte is saying is: if some (combination of) people, group(s), or legal/legislative action(s) affects your life without you knowing, it can’t possibly be secretive because some other legislation or dictum has authorized it even if unbeknownst to the public at large.

It is not a good sign if members of our government do not view actions they undertake to be secretive as long as someone or something “official” gives them the okay in one form or another. This is all too possible considering the history of our officials and the piles of legislation and case law that we haven’t and likely never will read.

During the speech he also disclosed some of his methods to not be surveyed against your rights by government or corporations, or in his words, how to “get off the web” or “lower your profile”…

  • “Pay cash for everything”
  • “Don’t own a smartphone”
  • “Don’t own a GPS”
  • “If you have a computer make sure it’s an Apple product, this is not a commercial, but it’s funny when I’m at US cyber command how many of them use Apples at home.”
  • Delete cookies, don’t share sensitive info on any site or application

Calling the internet the “wild wild west”, Nolte remarked that now he doesn’t know if more legislation and control of the internet can be achieved or would be beneficial. He did mention that more oversight of the internet is what security agencies and legislators should aim for, it being the more “flexible” option for control.

He also mentioned in regard to the classic “nobody being above the law” that he “wonders if it’s still true for us…” and by “us” he meant the NSA and CIA.

He hopes counterintelligence to be a “full pier of the intelligence services…like it is in Great Britain.” He praised MI5 for their tactics.

William Nolte laughs and tries to relate to the public but does he care to do anything about this country’s real problems and lack of transparency and connection with its people? Nope. It is apparently cemented in America that nobody can do anything about our problems… unless the people start to care that our government acts as if it is not accountable to us.



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