U.S. NSA Director Stepping Down After 8 year Tenure
The NSA came under heavy media and public scrutiny after former contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the agency's extensive spying campaign, which entails intercepting all forms of digital media like email and instant messages. However, the NSA claims Alexander's departure is completely unrelated.
"This has nothing to do with media leaks, the decision for his retirement was made prior; an agreement was made with the (Secretary of Defense) and the Chairman for one more year -- to March 2014," NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines told Reuters in an emailed statement.
The NSA is a highly secretive organization that routinely spies on electronic communications while protecting the U.S. government's communication. While all this is supposed to be for the greater good, the NSA's reach, as revealed by leaked documents, came a shock to many, giving the agency a black eye.
With Alexander and Inglis both stepping down, President Barack Obama has an opportunity to reshape the NSA and, if he chooses, install separate leaders in it and Cyber Command, a related military unit that Alexander leads.