The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast Episode #53: Inside NSA, Part II--Wherein We Interview the Agency's Chief of Compliance, John DeLong

By Benjamin Wittes
Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 7:00 AM

It's Day 2 of “Inside NSA: We Brought in a Recording Device So You Don’t Have To”—a special series of podcast interviews with senior NSA officials that we conducted last week.

In today's episode, we sit down with John DeLong, the agency's director of compliance. It's a particularly interesting discussion about the development of NSA's compliance program, its history, and also why it does not seem to reassure more people that the agency is acting within the law. To what extent, we discussed with DeLong, is the problem compliance with the rules, and to what extent is the problem the substance of the rules themselves? DeLong is a particularly thoughtful and eloquent guy, and the conversations will interest, we suspect, even those who think the NSA completely lawless. At a minimum, it should offer those who think the agency has gone rogue a window into how and why the agency sees itself as minutely regulated.

The complete series, in addition to today's episode, includes five interviews: Monday: Rajesh De, NSA’s general counsel Wednesday: Lonny Anderson, the head of the agency’s Technology Directorate Thursday: Anne Neuberger, who manages NSA’s relations with the U.S. private sector Friday: Fran Fleisch, NSA’s executive director and—as of last week—acting deputy director If your'e enjoying this series, please subscribe to the Lawfare Podcast on iTunes or on whatever service you use to listen to podcasts.