The U.S. National Security Agency on Monday outlined a reorganization that will consolidate its spying and domestic cyber-security operations, despite recommendations by a presidential panel that the agency focus solely on espionage.
The NSA said the reorganization, known as “NSA21,” or NSA in the 21st century, will take two years to complete, well into the first term of whoever is elected president in November.
A review board appointed by President Barack Obama recommended in December 2013 that the NSA concentrate solely on foreign intelligence gathering. The board’s recommendations came as the United States was reeling from disclosures from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the collection of vast amounts of domestic and international communications data.
Under the board’s plan, a separate agency would have been housed within the Department of Defense with responsibility for enhancing the security of government networks and assisting corporate computer systems.