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This article was published on January 24, 2018

NSA quietly deletes ‘honesty’ and ‘openness’ from mission statement

NSA quietly deletes ‘honesty’ and ‘openness’ from mission statement
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Since at least May of 2016, the National Security Agency prominently displayed a mission statement with “honesty” atop its core values. It appears its priorities have changed.

On January 12, the NSA removed the mission statement before replacing it with a newer version. As The Intercept first noticed, the new “Mission & Values” statement not only removes “honesty” as its top priority, but strips any mention of “trust,” “honor,” and “openness” from the page.

Other core values remain, such as “integrity,” “transparency,” and “respect for the law.” Replacing “honesty,” is “commitment to service” and “respect for people.” They read:

Commitment to Service – Knowing that the country, our friends and allies are relying on us, we are dedicated to fulfilling our commitment to serve and to excellence in the pursuit of our critical mission.

Respect for People – We are committed to ensuring that all NSA personnel are respected, included and valued for their diverse backgrounds, experiences, skills and contributions to our mission and culture.

It’s unclear why the NSA decided to remove the wording, although TNW did reach out for comment. In a comment to The Intercept yesterday, Thomas Groves, an agency spokesperson said, “It’s nothing more than a website update, that’s all it is.”