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NSA Moonlighting Scandal Expands as SIGINT Head Resigns

RIA Novosti

17:40 25/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - NSA's Director of signal intelligence, Teresa O'Shea, has resigned Friday after the media publications about her and her husband's business interests which allegedly caused an ethics conflict.

Teresa O'Shea, referred to as "one of the nation's top spies" by the Buzzfeed whistleblower blog is leaving office as Director of signals intelligence (SIGINT) about a month after the initial media reports on her alleged abuse of the limits of authority for the benefit of her husband's business as an NSA contractor. The mission of SIGINT is monitoring phone calls, radio, emails and other online means of communications like chats, Skype, message boards, as well as military equipment like radars and weapons systems. The most sensitive of Edward Snowden's disclosures came about the work of this particular unit.

In the official statement released Friday the NSA said that Teresa O'Shea's discharge as SIGINT was not related to the media publications. NSA also noted that she will continue her work for the Agency.

"NSA considers regular rotations of senior leaders as a catalyst for achieving diverse, fresh perspectives on the nation's critical national security challenges," the NSA statement reads "We value her leadership as a senior leader and look forward to her continued contribution to the mission to help defend the nation."

In September, Buzzfeed reported that Ms. O'Shea's husband is vice president of a contractor enterprise that either worked or wanted to work with the NSA. There was also another company registered at the O'Sheas' home, whose business was also related to signals intel and the so-called metadata. Another whistleblower publication, the Intercept, claims that either the O'Sheas managed to commercialize somehow the information Teresa was receiving as SIGINT head, or the NSA via Teresa was paying her husband to sell them the metadata they would require.

The final blow to the couple came about last week when Buzzfeed reported Ms.O'Shea owns a condo and a private airplane which would not match her income as government employee.

The aforementioned media disclosures have created a conflict of interests. The new NSA director, Adm. Michael Rogers would not approve the commercial interest interfering the work of the Agency after his predecessor, Keith Alexander, turned out to have been involved in commodities trade with Russia and China while in office, as shown in the recent Foreign Policy publication.

The NSA has drawn more media attention last week when Reuters reported that another NSA employee, Chief Tech Officer Patrick Dowd, was working part-time for the private-sector company Ironnet Cybersecurity which belongs to Keith Alexander.

Two different NSA sources say that either she left the office because of the media attention, or those publications did not in fact cause her resigning. The O'Sheas did not provide any commentary of Teresa's discharge.

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