A Google engineer has just won the award for the NSA's first "Science and Security" competition, and promptly took to his blog to blast Washington and the NSA's current state.
"Like many in the community of cryptographers and security engineers, I’m sad that we haven’t better informed the public about the inherent dangers and questionable utility of mass surveillance," said the engineer, Joseph Bonneau. "And like many American citizens I’m ashamed we’ve let our politicians sneak the country down this path."
Bonneau won the SoS award for his paper, "The Science of Guessing," which looked into 70 million passwords to study what made certain ones strong and others weak. Though he said he's appreciative of the award, he says that he doesn't believe "a free society is compatible with an organization like the NSA in its current form."
"Our focus must remain on winning the public debate around surveillance and developing privacy-enhancing technology," said Bonneau. "But I hope that this award program, established to increase engagement with academic researchers, can be a small but positive step."
Perhaps Google should listen to his words.