The U.S. National Security Agency is hoping that a new spokesman will be able to help clean up the public relations mess created by years of widespread, indiscriminate surveillance on prominent members of the international community and American citizens alike in the name of national security. The job features a nice salary and room for growth although morale has been so low at the agency since the Edward Snowden leak, President Obama himself was asked to stop by the headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, to give a pep talk.
An online job listing posted on the NSA’s employment page makes it clear that the lucky applicant selected to become the director of strategic communications will head the public relations and press effort for the notoriously quiet intelligence agency. The listing says the new spokesperson “will be the principal architect of external outreach designed to meet the president’s expectations for greater transparency,” as Obama promised in a speech earlier this year.
Along with 10 years experience in public affairs or communication for the government or major corporation, successful applicants will need to have “demonstrated credible crisis management and training experience.”
Translation: We need people to think we’re doing the right thing.
A number of polls conducted in the months after former NSA contractor Snowden revealed the intelligence community was analyzing troves of metadata (the time people made phone calls, who they called, the duration of the calls, among other things) revealed most Americans were “concerned about the collection and use of [their] personal information” by the NSA.
And the NSA has been the subject of international outrage, with trusted American allies like Germany fuming about revelations the NSA tapped the phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“We want this cooperation based on partnership,” Merkel said earlier this month as frosty relations between the United States and Germany began to heat up again. “But we have different ideas, and part of this is that we don’t spy on each other.”
While salary is based on past experience, the next NSA spokesman could earn as much as $175,000 annually.