The NSA has a new, first time ever, privacy officer

National Security Agency (NSA) Director Gen. Keith Alexander . (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander . (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The National Security Agency, which has come under a bit of criticism of late for violating the privacy rights of just about everyone on the planet,  has named its first- ever person to the newly created job of  primary adviser to the NSA’s director for civil liberties and privacy protection.

“This new position is focused on the future,” the agency’s September job announcement said, and is “designed to directly enhance decision making and to ensure that [civil liberties and privacy] protections continue to be baked into NSA’s future operations, technologies, tradecraft, and policies.” 

“Civil libertarians are skeptical,” former Department of Homeland Security official Paul Rosenzweig said in a post Tuesday reporting the appointment on his Lawfareblog, “and I think it is fair to say that the job will be quite a difficult one for the selectee — Rebecca “Becky” Richards who is leaving the DHS privacy office to start her new job at NSA next month.”

Can’t imagine why they are skeptical.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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Al Kamen · January 28, 2014

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