Friday, June 6, 2014

Mathematicians, Employment, and NSA… Ohh My

hmmm... working for NSA??? Nothing too new in this controversy (Keith Devlin and some other mathematicians have been raising it for awhile now), but it's a tad unusual to see Forbes magazine covering it:

As one mathematician wrote: "Any relationship with an organization whose activity is so harmful for the fabric of human society is unhealthy. For the sake of integrity, the AMS should shun all contacts with the NSA.

or as Keith Devlin, wrote: “I think mathematicians should refuse to work for the NSA until they both follow the US Constitution and demonstrate responsible use of mathematical tools. The latter is something they clearly failed to do by engineering weaknesses into mathematical crypto systems, which mathematicians know to be a very dangerous thing to do. I think it is very regrettable that the current NSA leadership has broken the immense goodwill that most of us in the mathematical community once had toward them.

[Some of Dr. Devlin's views are contained in this interview I did with him a year ago: ]

Oh, and by the way, a similar debate is occurring in Britain as well -- see this new post from "n-Category Cafe": 

which was preceded by these two posts (by same author):

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