Director of Compliance at the National Security Agency, John DeLong, speaks up for NSA’s dedication to compliance with the NSA regulations that have been a part of heated discussion for the nation.  DeLong has devoted himself to educating Americans on the NSA’s role and their right to privacy, while advocating for increased transparency from NSA.

Many have heard that NSA collects everything and anything all around the world, including here in the U.S. Many people claim that NSA violates privacy laws here at home. What’s your response to such perceptions?

Perceptions are not the same as reality. There are a lot of myths that are out there and a lot of perceptions. They’re somewhat pervasive but it’s important to note that the NSA doesn’t set its own agendas, and it doesn’t act on its own.  It (NSA) acts on permissions within its authorities.

The requirements involved span all three branches of the federal government.  We don’t create the requirements under which we operate. At the end of the day, myth is not a great basis for any response.

Does NSA spy on Americans?

One of NSA’s analysts, mathematician Roger Barkan, wrote an article and I think he said it best “the NSA is not watching you,  it’s being watched” And the second half of his phrase focuses on how to watch the NSA, and that’s a very important discussion.  All three branches have a role in watching the NSA. 

They’re on the ground here, they receive reports, they ask questions. So the important question is now, going forward, how can Americans best watch the NSA? The nation is going to have to find a way to help people increase their confidence that NSA is focused on foreign targets as a foreign intelligence agency – that we don’t listen to average Americans, that we don’t do what’s not permitted.