back to article The NSA's hiring - and they want a CIVIL LIBERTIES officer

Infamous US spy agency the NSA is looking to appoint a Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer. The challenging position is an internal posting, aimed at potential candidates who already work at the top secret spy agency. The new role parcels separate responsibilities of NSA's existing Civil Liberties and Privacy (CL/P) protection …


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  1. alain williams Silver badge

    Protect you much as does your local mafia rep ...

    ''that is a nice little data center that you have there, it would be unfortunate if it were compromised''.

    OK: they don't want your cash[**]; my point is more about use of English, claiming to do one thing while doing something very different. Those who want to believe it will do so and loudly shout that they are the good guys.

    [**] well, not directly. They get it indirectly via the taxes that you pay.

  2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    The post will be based...

    at the new sub office of our GCHQ colleagues on Rockall.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The post will be based...

      That is if it is _REALLY_ a civil liberties protection officer.

      If it is what it is likely to be "Protection from Civil Libertarians" officer or the most likely one "Civil Liberties Perjury" Officer. After all, lying to Congress under oath should be an appropriately managed and planned activity.

      Either one of those are least likely to be on Rockall. More like a cushy, causy and plush office somewhere in DC.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: The post will be based...

        In much the same way, a number of people who describe themselves as "human rights lawyers" actually seem to represent the Government, trying to ensure that those human rights are as restricted as possible.

        I remember in the 1980s a young, dynamic human rights lawyer named Blair...what happened to him?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The post will be based...

          "I remember in the 1980s a young, dynamic human rights lawyer named Blair...what happened to him?"

          Turned out he was no good at law, so he started looking for something that he could do well.

          Last I heard, he's still looking. But he seems to have got a LOT richer. Probably mixes with the right set.

  3. adnim


    knowledge of civil liberties is scant within the ranks of the NSA. Why else would they be so completely ignored.

    Employing an officer for such would give them insight into which part of their operations are legal and which are not. Once they are fully aware of the law relating to civil liberties, they will no doubt comply to the full letter of that law instead of rewriting them to suit the situation.

    The NSA should be praised for this attempt to clean up their house.

    They are welcome to call around my place for coffee and doughnuts anytime.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obviously

      Obviously inded. Quite obviously, you have forgotten the "sarcasm" tags around this one.

      1. adnim

        Re: Obviously

        What makes you think I am being sarcastic? So obvious that perhaps sarcasm tags are not needed. ;-)

    2. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Obviously

      You forgot the "Joke Alert" icon.

    3. smudge
      Big Brother

      Re: Obviously

      They are welcome to call around my place for coffee and doughnuts anytime.

      They said thanks but no thanks, because your friends say that your coffee is awful.

  4. Sir Barry

    I think they have taken enough liberties already

  5. Paul Dx

    Perfect job opening for 3 wise monkeys

    1. ItsNotMe

      "Perfect job opening for 3 wise monkeys"

      Sorry...they're already engaged at the CIA.

    2. Mother Hubbard

      > Perfect job opening for 3 wise monkeys


      I'd settle for them hiring one replacement monkey, the next time Clapper's role is up: Shizaru, symbolising the principle of "do no evil" (depicted crossing his arms) .. assuming he has any power ..

  6. James 51

    "the post of Staff Rabbi to the Spanish Inquisition"

    Laughing at this got me a few strange looks but it's only ten minutes till lunch.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I propose

    My top candidates: Bashar al-assad or Kim Jong-un.

  8. Rol Silver badge

    " ensuring that privacy is protected and civil liberties are maintained"

    Read, "Ensuring our privacy is protected and civil liberties are maintained at the current level"

  9. John G Imrie

    Scape goat required

    If you would like to retire early on a good pension having taken the blame for the next Snoden leak, please send an email to your significant other and we'll read it tomorrow.

  10. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I re-wrote it...

    "Substantial knowledge of telecommunications and internet privacy is required and legal experience is preferred. But if you have (A) even the slightest hint of morality about you, or (B) if you have any sense of natural justice or order; or (C) claim to be able to identify right from wrong... forget it buster - we don't need ya!"

  11. Jim Carter

    A step in the right direction, certainly.

    Although one can't help but think it's like hiring Homer Simpson to be the safety officer.

  12. WonkoTheSane
    Big Brother

    "Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer"

    Pronounced "Scapegoat".

  13. g e

    "(CLPO) is conceived as a completely new role"

    Because before Snowden grassed us up we never had to give a flying fuck about civilians or liberty

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Big Brother

      Re: "(CLPO) is conceived as a completely new role"

      "Because before Snowden grassed us up we never had to give a flying fuck about civilians or liberty"

      What makes you think that will change now?

  14. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Responsibility, but no mention of power

    Power to investigate what the NSA is doing? Power to collect evidence? Power to show that evidence to a judge and jury?

    Why not just hire someone to take responsibility of earth quakes and tidal waves.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: Responsibility, but no mention of power

      I've had jobs with responsibility but no authority..

      Never again.

      Responsibility without authority --> CLPO

      Authority without responsibility --> everyone else in the NSA

  15. Darth Robbo

    First task

    First job for the new appointee will be to write up a report explaining just what this 'civil liberties' thing is that everyone's rabbiting on about, and then to draw up a list of surveillance targets to best keep ahead of future public outcries.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    application process?

    So ---- If I put my resume in the cloud that should be sufficient?

    (yeah I know its internal. yeesh.)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they're appointing a tea boy basically. Just make the tea and stay out of trouble.

    Mind you, the NSA office is modelled on a Star Trek style spaceship bridge, so I'm amazed they don't have replicators.

  18. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Ex-TSB staff are particularly requested to apply...

    ...because you were the bank that liked to say "Yes!". Weren't you?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The successful candidate ought to be “well known and highly regarded by US privacy and civil liberties protection professionals.” = Edward Snowden

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ideal

      I was going to say - they announce this position after they fire the perfect internal candidate and chase him to Moscow?

  20. silent_count

    The motley is not optional

    So the "Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer" (I think it will be both simpler and more accurate to refer to him as the 'court jester') will be required to perform many important duties.

    The court jester's day-to-day activities will include sitting quietly in the corner with his trap shut. Though he is welcome to provide commentary to passing workers upon to topic of civil liberties and/or privacy so as to provide mirth and merriment to all and sundry. He will however in no way be permitted to interfere with the staff's needful work.

    Occasionally the court jester may find himself paraded before the press so the director of the CIA can point at the jester and assure the media that yes, we do have one of those and yes, of course, his presence improves the morale because we all enjoy a good laugh.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: The motley is not optional

      "Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer"

      CLAPO for short?

  21. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother

    The only reason...

    ... they want a Civil Liberties Officer is to make sure that they have a "cut out" should anyone try to exercise their Civil Liberties and try to find out just how much inforamation the NSA are holding on their own citizens.

    The job of the CLaP Officer will be to endlessly repeat variations on "I'm sorry, we cannot discuss that for National Security reasons..."

  22. T. F. M. Reader

    "will consult regularly"

    The quoted job ad implies that at the very least the DoD, DoJ, and the Office of the DNI already have "privacy and civil liberties officials" on payroll. That's a huge relief.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    That'll be the day!

    "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, "

    READ: "The NSA Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer is going to be thrown to the wolves in a culture that values neither civil liberties or privacy. The CLPO will serve as advisor to the Director of the NSA, who will exclude the CLPO from knowing about programs that actually impinge on civil liberties. Should the CLPO find out about these programs anyway, the source of those leaks will be fired and then prosecuted. If the CLPO is at all serious about civil liberties and privacy, he will resign for "family reasons" a year or so after taking the job. The nice part is that you get a fancy dress uniform with lots of gold braid, befitting the CLPO's real role as lipstick on the NSA civil liberties pig."

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: That'll be the day!

      "The nice part is that you get a fancy dress uniform with lots of gold braid, befitting the CLPO's real role as lipstick on the NSA civil liberties pig.""

      Sorry, you don't even get that. Only actual officers get one of those.

      NSA is (nominally) part of the USN under the DoD.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: That'll be the day!

        Maybe we should give the civil liberties officer a traditional dress uniform. That way he can use his very own sword when he has to fall on it.

  24. Don Jefe
    Thumb Up

    Made to Order for Outsourcing

    Civil Liberties are obviously outside the scope of the NSA's expertise. Situations outside your expertise are custom made for outsourcing.

    You'd want a provider who had a solid vision of the future, showed well in public, had effective, low cost, management techniques and the ability to self manage to a vision with a minimum of pointing or micromanaging and be able to deal with large sums of cash as well as. Diplomacy and the ability to cultivate and grow partnerships and special relationshiops with foreign powers a must.

    Finding all that in one place is going to be difficult, but not impossible. The Juan María Bordaberry cabinet and power players are still largely available and seem like a fairly frictionless fit that aligns with the NSA's current direction. Some of the key members have been retired but the bulk of the operation remains available. They have proven experience taking complex civil liberties strategies to the next level as well as intimate knowlege navigating the bureaucracies inherent in working with parallel agencies like the CIA. It is highly unlikely you're going to find all this from a single provider anywhere else in the West. The time to move is now.

  25. despairing citizen
    Big Brother

    Double Plus Ungood Job

    Likely to become the resident of room 101 rather than it's watcher

  26. The Dude

    Hire Snowden!

    1. Don Jefe

      They don't actually want someone interested in civil rights. Silly goose.

      They want a double plus good master of bureaucratic weasel speak so they can fulfill Obama's pledge to make the privacy conversation more public. He is the checkmark in a government check box. I guarantee there's a Gantt chart somewhere and a task on it 30% complete now that they've defined the job and publicly begun seeking to fill the role.

  27. btrower

    Same as always

    Human Resources is not there to help *hire* people; it is there to help fire people. Same thing here. The purpose of this job will be to make sure the NSA is on the leading edge of methods to sidestep rules protecting people.

  28. Wzrd1

    I'd actually accept that position. Contingent upon my acceptance, as part of my contract, would be to depart if the NSA declined to obey the US Constitution, with my own full right to disclose to uncleared persons.

    That said, I'm also an operations first IA type and highly successful at preventing my area of concern from being compromised, whist not hampering operations by seeking various and sundry exception to policy documents (letting the other poor General/bastard take the risk). But, the law was *always* obeyed.

    Constitutionally, I'm a mix of living document and strict interpretation, depending on the amendment.

    I've also held the clearance necessary, only a few caveats would be needed to be added.

    That said, the Constitution is King, not an administration, not a Congress without a ratified amendment.

    So, I suspect I need not apply. :/

    Pity, as I know the Fort Meade area somewhat and had my eye on a few properties to consider.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "... if your idea of job satisfaction includes being ignored or laughed at by everyone who doesn't work in the canteen, this could be your dream post! While we will supply jackass ears and clowns nose, the successful applicant will possess their own deck of cards for solitaire and an aptitude both for origami and drumming their fingers quietly to avoid disturbing others. If you have a positive outlook and defective moral compass you will find the role considerably easier, but we do provide the onsite dehumanisation and paranoia enhancement courses at our George W Bush training facility for those with any lingering doubts as to the legitimacy of our efforts.

    There is no need to submit an application - we already know if you're interested, and will notify you by abduction, or terminate with extreme prejudice should your application prove unsuccessful."

  30. Dan Paul

    Perfect job for a Whitehouse Press Secretary

    When Jay Carney gets let go in 2017 (or before) he would be the perfect lying, cheating dumbfvck for the NSA.

    He even has the last name of a Carnival barker. Obviously, Carney is highly qualified as he was hired by one of the greatest lying cheating bastard dumbfvucks in the free world and I'm sure the employment requirements were almost exactly the same.

    Does ANYONE lie more than Obama?

  31. veti Silver badge

    Sounds to me like the Law of Inverse Relevance

    "The less you intend to do about something, the more you have to keep talking about it".

    Constantly talking: it's the best way to distract attention from what you're actually doing. Ask any stage magician. Obviously, the NSA wants someone to do that talking full-time.

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