December 14, 2013
The White House has decided to preserve the cyber war powers held by the director of the National Security Agency (NSA).
The decision to maintain NSA control over U.S. Cyber Command, a team of military hackers, means that the agency’s next director will be a military officer and not a civilian, as privacy advocates had hoped.
“Following a thorough interagency review, the Administration has decided that keeping the positions of NSA director and Cyber Command commander together as one, dual-hatted position is the most effective approach to accomplishing both agencies’ missions,” Caitlin Hayden, a White House spokeswoman, said in a statement.
The announcement comes as an advisory panel prepares to deliver a report to the president with recommended changes to the NSA. According toThe Wall Street Journal, a draft version of the report recommends splitting the NSA and Cyber Command and naming a civilian director of the NSA.