Following the revelations of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs and the ensuing outcry over violations of civil liberties and privacy, the NSA is moving forward to address those concerns.
The NSA has posted an opening for a "completely new role" at the agency: Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer.
The officer "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," according to the job description.
The officer will also be "Responsible for broadly and, to the greatest extent possible, proactively explaining how NSA protects [civil liberties/privacy] to the internal workforce, within the IC, to USG partners and to the public" and "Ensure adequate procedures are in place to receive, investigate, respond to, and redress complaints from individuals who raise [civil liberties/privacy] concerns."
"The successful candidate will be well known and highly regarded by U.S. privacy and civil liberties protection professionals," the job description continues.
The position, which is based at the NSA's Fort Meade, Md., headquarters, will pay up to $173,000.
In August, following weeks of controversy over the NSA's snooping, revealed by contractor Edward Snowden, President Obama announced this position was in the works.
"The NSA is taking steps to put in place a full-time civil liberties and privacy officer, and released information that details its mission, authorities, and oversight."
During that, he also announced he was backing a congressional proposal to add a special advocate to the FISC to argue on behalf of civil liberties concerns. Unlike any other court system in the U.S., the FISC (the secret court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide oversight of the government's intelligence gathering) only hears one side of an argument -- the government's.
Administration officials called it a "very important reform and one that needs to be done in consultation with Congress."
To make intelligence gathering programs even more transparent, Mr. Obama also announced he's assembling a task force of people from outside the government to consider the government's surveillance efforts and the protection of privacy. It will also consider how the United States' foreign policy is impacted by its surveillance efforts.
The task force, which is up and running, will "bring a variety of experience to bear," an administration official said, and includes members of the intelligence business community and civil liberties advocates. It is expected to provide an interim report within weeks and a final report on its conclusions by the end of the year.