John DeLong

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John DeLong is a fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. He is focused on cybersecurity and the implications of technology changes—including machine learning and artificial intelligence —on the framework and best practices for compliance, oversight, and ethics programs. He was formerly with the National Security Agency where he was the Director of Compliance from 2009-2014. He received a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics from Harvard and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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Understanding Footnote 14: NSA Lawyering, Oversight, and Compliance

In 2009, the government notified the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) of a serious issue in the design and description of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Business Records metadata program. In short, the NSA had implemented a part of that program using an erroneous interpretation of the term “archived data” that appeared in the court’s order. An inadvertent mistake in later reports to the FISC concealed the fact of the misinterpretation, which was incorporated into multiple reports over time.