August 1, 2012
Help me help you or help me hurt you? National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander’s first-ever direct appeal to hackers to assist the secretive spy agency was greeted with polite applause at the DefCon conference in Las Vegas on Friday but afterwards, it was a different story.
“You’re going to have to come in and help us,” Alexander told DefCon attendees, according to Reuters. The NSA boss, dressed down in jeans and a t-shirt for the occasion, also denied that his agency kept dossiers on “millions of Americans.”
“The people who would say we are doing that should know better. That is absolute nonsense,” Alexander said, referring to former NSA employees who have told the media that the agency does just that.
On Wired’s Threat Level blog, for example, commenters questioned Alexander’s playing down of the information it keeps on Americans—one advised potential NSA recruits that if they “have any sense at all they will run a mile from this guy.”