🎁'Tis the season to support public service journalism Donate Now

The NSA speaks

author198 Jul 9, 2010

We contacted the NSA for our story today about the “Perfect Citizen” program.  They replied last night after our deadline.  Judith Emmel, NSA spokesperson, offers this statement:

Today’s Wall Street Journal article by Siobhan Gorman, titled “US Plans Cyber Shield for Utilities, Companies,” is an inaccurate portrayal of the work performed at the National Security Agency.  Because of the high sensitivity surrounding what we do to defend our nation, it is inappropriate to confirm or deny all of the specific allegations made in the article.  We will, however, provide the following facts: 


PERFECT CITIZEN is purely a vulnerabilities-assessment and capabilities-development contract.  This is a research and engineering effort.  There is no monitoring activity involved, and no sensors are employed in this endeavor.

Specifically, it does not involve the monitoring of communications or the placement of sensors on utility company systems. 

This contract provides a set of technical solutions that help the National Security Agency better understand the threats to national security networks, which is a critical part of NSA’s mission of defending the nation.

Any suggestions that there are illegal or invasive domestic activities associated with this contracted effort are simply not true.  We strictly adhere to both the spirit and the letter of U.S. laws and regulations.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.