NSA Privacy Chief: Civil Liberties a Top Concern


Credit: Trevor Paglen/wikimedia

Speaking yesterday at a privacy conference NSA Civil Liberty and Privacy Officer Rebecca Richards said, without a hint of irony or sarcasm, that the intelligence agency considers civil liberties a top concern.

From The Hill:

Civil liberties are a top concern at the National Security Agency (NSA), the agency's new privacy chief said Thursday.

"In their blood is [the] protection of your privacy," Rebecca Richards said Thursday, speaking at a privacy conference hosted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Richards has been the NSA's privacy and civil liberties officer for a little over a month. The creation of the position was announced last year, as the Obama administration responded to a series of controversial revelations about sweeping U.S. government surveillance.

Given that Richards' job was only created last year as part of the Obama administration's response to reporting on the information leaked by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden it is hard to take seriously Richards' claim that NSA employees have privacy protection "in their blood."

Before starting her current job at the NSA Richards worked as Senior Director of Privacy Compliance at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the notoriously privacy conscious TSA.

As Reason's J.D. Tuccille wrote about President Obama's weak and vague NSA reforms last January.

More from Reason.com on the NSA here