John DeLong is responsible for ensuring NSA officers obey the US’s privacy rules
Snowden leaks: The man who watches over the NSA
By Gordon CoreraSecurity correspondent, BBC News
Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations have revealed that a huge capability resides within America’s National Security Agency to collect and analyse communications.
The crucial question that many people are now asking is how the public can know if this capability is being misused.
Officials claim there are multiple levels of accountability and oversight including a new civil liberties and privacy officer within the NSA appointed this week. But one person who has been trying to ensure the system is not abused for a number of years is John DeLong.
After working in the NSA and department of Homeland Security – and a break to study at Harvard Law School – he became the director for compliance at the agency in 2009, running a team of 300 people.
His job is to make sure NSA staff play by the rules. So does this involve watching over people clipboard in hand?
«Rather than characterising it as people with clipboards looking over folks, a rules coach may be the best way of thinking of it,» he tells the BBC in a telephone interview.
«What we focus on in compliance is the very specific consistency each and every second of each and every day with the very specific rules that regulate our activity.»… MORE