The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast Episode #52: Inside NSA, Part I---An Interview With General Counsel Rajesh De

By Benjamin Wittes, Robert Chesney
Monday, December 16, 2013, 7:00 AM

Welcome to "Inside NSA: We Brought in a Recording Device So You Don't Have To"---a special series of podcast interviews of senior NSA officials that we conducted last week.

As we described on Saturday, this series grew out of a dialog Bobby organized under the auspices of the University of Texas at Austin’s Strauss Center for International Security and Law and UT’s Clements Center for History, Strategy, and Statecraft. Following a daylong meeting in September, Ben suggested to the agency that it allow us to bring recording equipment into the agency and repeat some of the conversations that had taken place as part of the dialog---all of which were unclassified---for a larger audience. Somewhat to our surprise, the agency agreed, and last week, we spent a day recording interviews---and Ben returned later in the week to record another.

We will be releasing one each day this week.

The series, at least for now, includes five interviews:

  • Rajesh De, NSA's general counsel,
  • John DeLong, the agency's director of compliance,
  • Lonny Anderson, the head of the agency's Technology Directorate
  • Anne Neuberger, who manages NSA's relations with the U.S. private sector, and
  • Fran Fleisch, NSA's executive director and---as of last week---acting deputy director

They all took place last Wednesday, with the exception of the last one---with Fleisch---which took place on Friday. We have edited them only very lightly, mostly to remove repetition.