Students Confront NSA Recruiters

Friday, 5 July 2013 | buzz
Madiha Tahir

Madiha Tahir

On Tuesday, July 2nd, a pair of NSA recruiters showed up on the U.W. Madison campus to pitch their organization to up-and-coming Middle Eastern language students. Little did they know that instead of an eager crowd of prospective employees, they would be faced by angry students demanding answers. Among these students was Madiha Tahir, a PhD. candidate at the Columbia Journalism School, who has formerly worked as a journalist in Pakistan. On the Friday Buzz, Madiha Tahir joined sub host Bob Jacobson to talk about this experience.

NSA brochure, Copyright: Madiha Tahir

NSA brochure, Copyright: Madiha Tahir

 

About halfway into the presentation, Tahir stood up and asked the recruiters to elaborate on their definition of “adversary”, the term they used to define the targets of their surveillance. She wanted to know how American citizens and European countries qualify for this word. Several other students applauded. As she questioned the agents, other audience members began to chime in. At one point, the recruiters were asked point-blank whether being a good liar was a qualification for an NSA career. After about 15 minutes, Madiha and the majority of the other students stood up and left.

She explained to Jacobson that she feels this is a sign of the growing desire by U.S. citizens to know what their government is doing – both from a military standpoint and a surveillance standpoint.

You can find Madiha’s blog here. You can also listen to her post of the NSA question session here.

Listen to the entire interview:

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