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Alexander to leave NSA, cyber posts

Keith Alexander, DOD photo

Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, is expected to retire by April 2014, according to U.S. officials cited in a Reuters report. Alexander's deputy John "Chris" Inglis is also expected to leave by the end of this year.

The news comes amid a continuing drumbeat of stories about electronic spying and data collection programs carried out by the NSA, with the cooperation from leading Internet and telecommunications companies, as revealed in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Alexander continues to defend NSA data collection, including bulk collection of metadata on domestic phone calls. "It's in the nation's best interest to put the phone data into a repository that the American public knows what we're doing with," Alexander said at a recent cybersecurity event covered by FCW. "I'm open for transparency. I'm open for where we put the data. ... How do we ensure that the American people know what we're doing is exactly right without letting the terrorists know how to circumvent it? That's the real issue."

During his term as head of Cyber Command, Alexander has called on Congress to pass legislation to allow for real-time information sharing between government and private-sector operators of critical infrastructure. The threat of cyberattack, Alexander told a Senate committee in March, is "getting worse."

Alexander has been NSA chief for eight years. His departure would give President Barack Obama an opportunity to select a candidate to lead the spy agency, and possibly to separate the roles of NSA head and leader of Cyber Command.

Vice Adm. Mike Rogers, who heads the 10th Fleet and the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, is a potential successor to replace Alexander, according to the Reuters report.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Oct 16, 2013 at 1:23 PM


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