Privacy and Uncle Sam

It may seem odd, that the world’s largest spy agency, the US government via the National Security Agency (NSA) is also very concerned about your privacy.

On July 21st 2016, the National Privacy Research Strategy was released.

This strategy proposes the following priorities for privacy research:

  • Foster a multidisciplinary approach to privacy research and solutions;
  • Understand and measure privacy desires and impacts;
  • Develop system design methods that incorporate privacy desires, requirements, and controls;
  • Increase transparency of data collection, sharing, use, and retention;
  • Assure that information flows and use are consistent with privacy rules;
  • Develop approaches for remediation and recovery; and
  • Reduce privacy risks of analytical algorithms.

I am not quite sure how “Increase transparency of data collection, sharing, use, and retention” keeps your data private, but then I am not a fancy Privacy Engineer employed by government grants.

As with any government spending, there is an associated agency that spends money to manage the spending of the money.

That would be the NITRD.

The Networking and Information Technology research and Development Program.

Then there is the:

Cyber Security and Information Assurance (CSIA) Interagency Working Group coordinates the activities of the CSIA Program Component Area.

So they employ lots of people who write lots of stuff about privacy.

So, do you feel better now that the people who are spying on you are spending lots and lots of your money studying and writing about how you can keep your privacy?

I don’t. But I do feel better that I use Blackberry 10 – that discrete, ultra private little platform that hackers, advertisers, malware developers don’t care about :)


I am a long time BlackBerry user and fan. Beginning with the 7520, I have recognized the value of subtle productivity enhancements in BlackBerry devices for business communication and have never since strayed. Even when the iPhone took the market by storm, I was unimpressed, because it did nothing to help my business needs. Currently enjoying my one handed dream phone, the Classic! BB10 with a toolbelt! Today I contribute to UTB whenever I feel that I can help enlighten someone on the benefits of using BlackBerry over any other platform.