The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast Episode #54: Inside NSA, Part III---Wherein We Talk to Lonny Anderson, Chief of NSA's Technology Directorate

By Benjamin Wittes, Robert Chesney
Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 7:00 AM

It’s Day 3 of “Inside NSA: We Brought in a Recording Device So You Don’t Have To”—our special series of podcast interviews with senior NSA officials.

In today’s episode, we talk with Lonny Anderson, the agency’s director of information technology and head of its Technology Directorate. It's a frank conversation about how Edward Snowden managed to steal the documents he took and what steps NSA is taking to make it harder for others who might try it in the future. We talked about the common perception that an agency that can't keep its own secrets safe from people like Snowden can't be trusted with sensitive private data. We talked about the role of the Technology Directorate in developing complex data systems of a type the government does not usually develop itself. And we talked about the paradoxical problem of a high-tech signals intelligence agency in which sophisticated computer users can't bring their wireless technology into the building.

The complete series, in addition to today’s episode, includes five interviews:

Monday: Rajesh De, NSA’s general counsel
Tuesday: John DeLong, the agency's chief compliance officer
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

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