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NSA Posts Opening For "Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer" 177

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-think-I'll-pass dept.
cold fjord writes "The Hill reports, 'The National Security Agency has posted a job opening for a privacy and civil liberties officer. The position was first mentioned last month, when President Obama outlined his plans to bring more transparency to the NSA surveillance programs. A White House press release said the agency was "taking steps to put in place a full time Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer."' — From the NSA job posting: 'The NSA Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer (CLPO) is conceived as a completely new role, combining the separate responsibilities of NSA's existing Civil Liberties and Privacy (CL/P) protection programs under a single official. The CLPO will serve as the primary advisor to the Director of NSA for ensuring that privacy is protected and civil liberties are maintained by all of NSA's missions, programs, policies and technologies. This new position is focused on the future, designed to directly enhance decision making and to ensure that CL/P protections continue to be baked into NSA's future operations, technologies, tradecraft, and policies. The NSA CLPO will consult regularly with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence CLPO, privacy and civil liberties officials from the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice, as well as other U.S. government, private sector, public advocacy groups and foreign partners. '"
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NSA Posts Opening For "Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer"

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  • Newspeak? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonr (1130) on Monday September 23, 2013 @07:54AM (#44923025) Homepage Journal

    Is it just me, or does anybody have the feeling that this job is probably the opposite of the title?

    • Re: Newspeak? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2013 @07:59AM (#44923053)

      I was thinking that rather than being the opposite that it would be a cube in the basement of a file room and given zero assistance from anyone, just "let us know if you see anything sketchy while you do whatever it is you feel like doing."

    • PATRIOT act (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:01AM (#44923069)

      Most unpatriotic act ever. So, yes, all Govt names are EXACTLY opposite of what they say.
      Going by that, this guy is going to be tasked with infringing MORE, without even trying to hide it.

      • by Salgak1 (20136)

        True. But his/her official role (as opposed to the real role. . . ) is to provide a semblance of top-cover.

        "But our Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer is investigating, and will report their findings when the investigation is complete. . ."

        Which will appease all but the loudest sheeple. . .

        • by tompaulco (629533)

          True. But his/her official role (as opposed to the real role. . . ) is to provide a semblance of top-cover.

          "But our Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer is investigating, and will report their findings when the investigation is complete. . ."

          Which will appease all but the loudest sheeple. . .

          Yes, the officer is currently investigating case number 5. Of course, we get 20 million complaints per day, so it may take some time before the officer gets to your particular issue. Why, we've been talking about maybe even hiring the officer an assistant, but so far we haven't posted a position.

    • Is it just me, or does anybody have the feeling that this job is probably the opposite of the title?

      I am sure the fox will hire a chicken to guard the hen house.

      • Re:Newspeak? (Score:5, Informative)

        by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday September 23, 2013 @10:05AM (#44924059) Journal

        The fox is hiring a chicken to advise and consult on the security of the hen house.

        Specific Duties:
        a. Provide advice and guidance to the Director ...
        b. As the senior architect for CL/P, ensure that protections are addressed ...
        c. Represent the Agency on CL/P matters and serve as a liaison ...
        d. Responsible for broadly and, to the greatest extent possible, proactively explaining ...
        e. Manage CL/P policy, and advise ...
        f. Ensure adequate procedures are in place ...
        g. [rehash of point c]
        h. Provide CL/P reviews and assessments ...
        i. Provide testimony at Congressional hearings and special briefings ...
        j. Ensure that NSA leadership is informed of significant developments or changes in CL/P related ...
        k. Build partnerships with the public and private sectors ...

        Or in other words, someone with no actual authority.
        It has to be understood that this privacy officer is under the DNI.
        You know, the DNI, the individual responsible for all these privacy violations in the first place.
        There's no point in creating policy if the Director is only going to look at it as "advice and guidance"

        • Every CEO needs to be paired with a CJO. The Chief Judicial Officer operates a parallel organization which is funded by settlement winning secured against the primary institution.

    • Is it just me, or does anybody have the feeling that this job is probably the opposite of the title?

      Not at all. In fact it's exactly what it sounds like...

      On the internal memos where this fantastic new position is code-named "Token Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer". Or just "Token" for short. It's also referred to using the acronym, "LOL".

    • Re:Newspeak? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AHuxley (892839) on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:24AM (#44923219) Homepage Journal
      Interesting how US rights are now just "maintained".
    • Re:Newspeak? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmaiWELTYl.com minus author> on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:25AM (#44923235) Journal

      Either that or it's a job where you're given nothing to do until the next big leak comes out, then you become the sacrificial lamb and they hire a replacement, rinse and repeat.

      • I'd say it's just PR and possible sacrificial lamb. Why would they hire someone just to violate liberties? That's like hiring someone to take the profits of your company off your hands.
        • by ae1294 (1547521)

          I'd say it's just PR and possible sacrificial lamb. Why would they hire someone just to violate liberties? That's like hiring someone to take the profits of your company off your hands.

          Like some kind of lawyer? or Banker? Hummmm maybe I should talk more with the nice lobbyist about a few things....

        • by clintp (5169)

          Over the summer I learned that the medical research division at ARPA has one bio-ethicist on staff. He's completely overwhelmed, walks around in a horrified daze, and rubber stamps everything that lands on his desk (when they bother). This is third-hand, of course. I can't believe that a Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer for the NSA would be any more useful than just a PR stunt.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Is it just me, or does anybody have the feeling that this job is probably the opposite of the title?

      Yeah, it sounds like a fancy name for media liaison. When the local police department was misbehaving, (I mean, more than usual) it was the job of the media liaison to minimize the damage. I'm sure this is something similar. We see a lot of this lately -- lip service to citizen concerns that are actually attempts to control the narrative.

    • Proxy approval (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:39AM (#44923371)

      It's the classic 'approval by proxy' that worked in the UK.

      In the UK they appointed a data registrar who job title is 'data protection', and whose legal basis is the EU privacy act. Yet he's not there to *enforce* the privacy act, he's there to approve the *exemptions* to the act. So he spends his time approving all manner of privacy invading uses for UK citizens data by giving his approval to their use (on your behalf, not that you're ever asked or the details told to you even).

      It was a slimey lawyer trick courtesy of Tony Blair (a lawyer).

      Here, he's appointing someone to represent US Citizens and 'approve' the misuse of their private data, obtained in violation of their rights. As if he can give proxy approval for the surveillance.

      It's a slimey lawyer trick, courtesy of Obama (a lawyer).

      I really thought Obama would be different, yet he gets into power and it's clear he's just the smiley face on the military machine, same as the last guy.

    • by Guppy06 (410832)

      Not even. The job involves 99% playing Solitaire on your office computer, and 1% getting yelled at by Congress on camera whenever someone gets caught doing something.

    • Col. Flagg of MASH, or his life-a-like

    • It would make for a hilarious whistle blower story though. If it was me, the first day I had access to anything related to what the NSA is doing, it'd be on every major news outlet's desk within minutes. Would they really prosecute me for doing my job? Or for also attaching a picture to the press release of me outside the NSA building flipping it off? Probably, but it'd make a horribly ironic headline: "Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer at NSA blows the whistle on civil liberties and privacy violation
    • by NF6X (725054)

      Is it just me, or does anybody have the feeling that this job is probably the opposite of the title?

      It's not just you. In my opinion, when a government agency appoints an "{issue} Czar", that's a sign that they intend to do nothing meaningful about {issue}. When an entire organization's charter is to misbehave badly, appointing one person to advise on the issue is a pointless gesture meant to distract people from the problem. The problem of tens of thousands of people working in concert to eavesdrop on the communications of innocent people will not be affected in the slightest by one lone figurehead advis

    • by s.petry (762400)

      Welcome to rhetoric!

      Right to Work Law: Employer rights, anti-union rules, no rights for employes.

      Citizens United: Allows "Corporations" rights of citizens. No benefit to citizens.

      Patriot Act: Dismembers the US Constitution and is anti-patriotic.

      Fusion Center: The area where information is distributed from one Government agency to another, not "fused".

      I'm guessing that this "Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer" will figure out ways around our Civil Liberties and Privacy, publish misinformation if they get

    • Is it just me, or does anybody have the feeling that this job is probably the opposite of the title?

      To the NSA and Obama administration I say "Bullshit!" It's just another smokescreen to the group that has admitted to lying to the American people and the Congress. I for one will never believe a word the government says again. Self serving political power mongers. I say this being a Marine Corps veteran.

  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Monday September 23, 2013 @07:55AM (#44923029)

    This new position is focused on the future, designed to directly enhance decision making

    Does "shut down this agency permanently and don't replace it with anything similar" count as an enhancement?

    If we want to fight terrorism we could always stop installing dictators and manipulating the affairs of other nations.

    • I'm not sure shutting down the NSA is the best option. Certainly a better option than "change nothing aside from promising you won't spy on citizens again," but it's probably still a bad idea to be so rash. And in the event that it is just closed, some other organization would just pick up right where they left off. Though I guess it's naive to assume that's not already happening.
    • I wouldn't go that far, but I'd curtail the agency to white hat hacking only, and instead letting them hoarde 0-day exploits, I'd make them post them on all the respective project's bugtrackers.

      that would do far more good than any offensive action.
  • So, we're hiring a guy to report directly to the head of the NSA... so that he can report "hey, you're trampling everyone's privacy"... to which the director of the NSA can reply "I know." All of which we still will never know about.
    • by Chrisq (894406)

      So, we're hiring a guy to report directly to the head of the NSA... so that he can report "hey, you're trampling everyone's privacy"... to which the director of the NSA can reply "I know." All of which we still will never know about.

      I'm sure they'll make better use of the "guy" (could be a girl) than that. It will be an ideal channel for disinformation. "Our privacy and civil liberties officer has forced us to reveal that we are scaling down our surveillance of Muslims", or "In line with the recommendations we are no longer issuing compromised SSL certificates", and so on.

      • I'm sure they'll make better use of the "guy" (could be a girl) than that. It will be an ideal channel for disinformation. "Our privacy and civil liberties officer has forced us to reveal that we are scaling down our surveillance of Muslims", or "In line with the recommendations we are no longer issuing compromised SSL certificates", and so on.

        In that is true, the position seems to have already been filled. I have no idea why cold fjord is advertising an opening for his own position at the NSA, unless he is overworked...

  • All you do is just rubber stamp all the plans which cross your desk.

    Well, maybe you have to sort it into two piles. "Stuff we admit to" and "Stuff that will piss off the whole civilized world" Still, this would be very easy. It's the only job which will do less than a police departments internal investigation board!

  • didn't anybody read Snowden's leaks?

  • by stewsters (1406737) on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:02AM (#44923085)
    This official needs to have the ability to publicly whistle blow on anything he sees. If all he can do is report back to the NSA on his findings, no one will hear of it and nothing will change.
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:04AM (#44923091) Homepage Journal

    Somehow I feel this position will be as effective as a Racial Sensitivity and Ethics Officer aboard a Slave Ship.

  • Just shut these losers down and replace them with real military instead of idiot toy soldiers playing in Star Trek sets.
  • ...explaining to the public why they can't have these things anymore.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Hiring sockpuppets to get onto web 2.0 and help reshape the conversation around privacy laws derived from a "living document".
      The domestic targets will argue themselves into amusing new directions on that topic.
  • by bistromath007 (1253428) on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:10AM (#44923133)
    Government-owned crime syndicate needs clownish do-nothing to stand around like a deer in headlights while taking the blame for coworkers' malfeasance by virtue of a blatantly dishonest job title. Flexible hours, competitive pay and benefits.
  • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:12AM (#44923139) Homepage

    The ability to instantly and unilaterally declassify anything, without any fear of retribution.

    Fat chance.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:13AM (#44923149)
    I nominate an adorable puppy. They will protect our civil liberties as much as whomever they decide to hire will be able to, will be more adorable than any adult human, and will work for costs significantly below minimum wage. They would probably even be good for morale within the NSA.
    • by omnichad (1198475)

      I think the NSA's cat video program has already had a much higher participation rate. They've been able to track millions of people through views. Who else do you think posts all these videos?

  • Wanted: Someone to take the public's wrath and the shocked outrage of Congress the next time there is a scandal.

    By accepting this position, you acknowledge and accept that you will be terminated during or immediately after the required investigation during the next scandal.

    Benefits include full medical, dental, vision, 5 weeks a year vacation.

    • by Bucc5062 (856482)
      I'll take it. The second sentence is just nonsensical since Congress would never really investigate the NSA. They would hold hearings of course. The stoog....the CL/P officer would dance around the questions and all would go home with the knowledge that the USofA is still safe from evil doers (and we know who you are). What amazes me in regards to the "position" is that if the existing personally just subscribe to existing laws (ZOMG) there would be no need for such a lackey reporting to the director.
      • by Sarten-X (1102295)

        Congress, the president, and the managers at the NSA all have conflicts of interest. The law of the land says "action X is illegal", but the NSA isn't really doing X... they're doing almost-but-not-quite-X action Y. Neither Congress or the president will stop them, because they want the results and don't care how it happens.

        This position should be arranged so they have the power to say "We can't do X, because of these particular reasons", but can then approve Z which is just different enough to be legal. Wh

  • This reminds of how the Australian mining companies stopped growing environmental awareness from impacting their business. They lobbied the Australian Government, and the environmentalists moved from being government employees to mining company employees. I've heard mining company environmentalists say things like "We're not as bad as other mining companies when it comes to pollution" and "Some mining companies don't let their environmentalists leave their office. We have much more freedom" without a tra

  • Ooh! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:17AM (#44923175) Homepage Journal
    I'd shoot them a resume but I hear Wally from Dilbert already got the job.
  • I can't be the only one to think that. :)

  • Resume (Score:5, Funny)

    by puddingebola (2036796) on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:31AM (#44923285) Journal

    I have 42 years experience as a human rights adviser for the United States government.

    1976-1978 Special adviser in Iran to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

    1980-1982 Special adviser in Indonesia for Suhartro on civil liberties.

    1982-1989 U.S. embassy Chile. Served as adviser to Augusto Pinochet on civil liberties.

    • by Bosconian (158140)

      Your necessary qualifications should also include Cognitive Dissonance (Level IV, but if you believe you're a Level V, we will accept that) and Reality Distortion Warp experience (6 years in a public-facing position. We noticed you wrote "3 years" here but after tallying the total experience reported worked, your history qualifies.)

    • by ae1294 (1547521)

      Hummm wait a minu ..... o right! you're HIRED! First order of business kill Larry in IT he looks like a hippy...

  • No teeth (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Virtucon (127420) on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:32AM (#44923299)

    This position has no teeth and will exist as a figure head when people and the "shocked" congressional delegates bring up questions of what the NSA is doing.

    That way when congress starts up their faux hearings regarding NSA breaches of law and privacy you have put this figure head up there right next to the Director and when a question of Civil Liberties, violations of privacy etc. come up he can just deflect and say "Let me turn you over to our Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer who will address your questions."

    The NSA needs to go and the CIA needs to absorb the foreign intelligence functions that the NSA is supposedly mandated to perform. What still stinks to high shit is the recent budget that was passed in the house curiously doesn't de-fund the NSA so consider all the members of congress as violators of your rights and in violation of protecting and defending the Constitution. Considering there's an election in 13 months for Congress and 1/3 of the Senate seats, it's time to start sending a message to these arrogant fucktards that our Privacy and Civil Liberties should not become bargaining chips for passing legislative acts, they're rights we all need to fight for. Send money to the EFF and the ACLU and start getting your friends, family and colleagues informed about the issues we all face and frankly, vote all of these morons out of office because the constant money machine in politics and congressional re-election rates (over 70%) is killing your rights.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      The NSA needs to go and the CIA needs to absorb the foreign intelligence functions that the NSA is supposedly mandated to perform.

      LoL
      What makes you think the CIA will be any better of a steward for civil liberties?
      The CIA undoubtedly engages in all kinds of scandalous, but classified, activities that would piss off the American public too.

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        Well you still have a foreign intelligence requirement, that's what the CIA was founded to do but now you have it splintered off into various sub agencies that all are pretty much redundant to one another. Putting them under one agency gives you the ability to consolidate them into one basket then watch that basket. Right now I think it's a bit unwieldy that you have the 15 other agencies in the US Federal Government that are chartered with intelligence gathering and analysis. All of these agencies ha

  • Look what happened to the last guy who decided to fulfill the requirements of this job - he sought asylum in Russia!
    • by ae1294 (1547521)

      Look what happened to the last guy who decided to fulfill the requirements of this job - he sought asylum in Russia!

      O no... CHINA then Russia... that says a lot right there... Doesn't sound like some shit I'd be wanting to do unless scared shitless... He's probably having tea right now with kindly Vlad-amir... More isotope with ur tea Mr snowden?

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:43AM (#44923403)

    And we'll want a spy in your organization to make sure you don't spy on us.

  • Good background would include:

    - Environmental officer for a West Virginia mountaintop-removal coal company

    - Human rights officer for the Syrian Army

    - Risk Management officer for Lehman Brothers

    - PhD from the Sorbonne in empty gestures

  • by petrus4 (213815) on Monday September 23, 2013 @09:00AM (#44923545) Homepage Journal

    Possibly slightly offtopic; but is there any legal avenue that could be persued, towards the eventual goal of having the NSA abolished?

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      There is only so much political power, funding and prestige within the US gov.
      Recall where the NSA was seen to be in the early-mid 1990's?
      Note where the NSA got to in the past ~10 years. Funding, staff, political access do not just get created..
      Other contractors and agencies felt that rearrangement as them not winning.
      In the West you go to the press until you get your funding back and the old order is restored.
    • It's called shoveling money to the EFF. They won something sorta recently along these lines, but there's a long way to go.
    • Not with the people we presently elect and reelect into office. It cannot happen under these circumstances.

    • is there any legal avenue that could be persued

      Depends on your jurisdiction [wikipedia.org].

    • by mu51c10rd (187182)

      Sure, vote in enough Congressional representatives who are willing to defund or abolish it. Near zero chance of that happening as Americans are too busy...hey, wait...my show's on! What was I saying?

  • by nimbius (983462) on Monday September 23, 2013 @09:17AM (#44923679) Homepage
    We here at the NSA would like to thank slashdot for its interest in this position.
    Due to overwhelming traffic, our website may become inaccessible from time to time. should you find yourself unable to connect or submit your CV, please try these steps:

    1. calmly speak your resume into any cellphone, preceded by one or more of the words: "Terror, Obama, Occupy, Syria"
    2. Purchase one Quran, Disposable mobile phone, and one tank of propane to speak with a member of our team about the job opening.
    3. open a copy of your CV in any Microsoft Operating System.

    regards,
    oscar nascar pickle marmalade1234
    NSA Human Resources
  • Everyone go home... false alarm.

  • 1. Who gets to choose the appointee from the applications received?

    If anyone inside the current system has a say (and that includes Congress and the President), the selected person will have no credibility.

    2. Are background checks and/or security clearances required?

    If so, then all credible candidates are probably excluded.

    • Polygraph at the job interview is most likely. FBI does it.

      Plenty can be done with good employees to keep them in line. The system rewards the entrenched who maintain the status quot and enemies will even collaborate. Organizational politics exist everywhere; the bigger the org the more can go on. private or public.

      We have a culture that rewards crooks and punishes any true accountability; it's reflected in our private sector and our public sector. We look up to the slimy traits that make for successful l

  • You need to have a civil liberties officer to keep an eagle eye out to make sure there aren't any civil liberties escaping into the wild.

  • Being the guy who has to say no sucks. Worse if you have none of the authority and all of the responsibility when things go to poo.

  • We might need to coin a new term for this. Just as the TSA, et al, practice "security theatre", the NSA will be practicing "privacy theatre". That is to say, seemingly taking steps to protect privacy and civil liberties, but really just doing business as usual.

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