NSA Recruiter Assaults Student for Asking Questions About Data Collection

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The University of New Mexico hosted a Engineering & Science Career Fair on Sept. 17, 2014 for students to meet with potential employers.  The National Security Agency was among those in attendence, with a booth and a less than cheerful representative.  The NSA’s recruiter’s name was Neal Z. who did an absolutely horrible job in speaking with two curious students about the NSA and their policies.

In two videos posted on YouTube—each shot from a slightly different perspective—you can watch Beale politely question Mr. Z. about NSA programs, and watch Mr. Z. attempt to parry those queries with blatant falsehoods like, ”NSA is not permitted to track or collect intelligence on U.S. persons.”

As Beale continues to attempt to engage the recruiter on the legality of the NSA’s mass surveillance initiatives, Mr. Z. becomes increasingly angry, calling him a “heckler,” saying, ”You do not know what you’re talking about,” and warning, “If you don’t leave soon, I’m going to call university security to get you out of my face.”

After a few minutes of back-and-forth, Mr. Z announces, “You’re done,” and attempts to grab the phone that Potter had been using to film the encounter, literally at the very moment he says, “I’m not touching your phone.” Beale and Potter were later ejected from the facility by campus police for “causing a disturbance,” though their on-camera behavior is unfailingly quiet and civil.

The officers declined to act on their complaint that Mr. Z’s phone grab constituted assault. The videos are below, judge for yourself. And be careful if you catch an NSA staffer in the wild, they’re wound pretty tightly these days.

What are your thoughts? Comment below.

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