In what the National Security Agency is calling a “website update,” the agency recently removed “honesty,” once a top value, from its mission statement.
On Monday, the agency removed the previous mission statement and replaced it with a new version that changed the list of “Core Values” and their definitions.
The “Core Values,” which were listed on the NSA’s website starting in May of 2016, included “Honesty” as it’s top priority followed by “Respect for the Law,” “Integrity,” and Transparency.” The previous mission statement went on to explain “Honesty” to “be truthful with each other.”
But, on Jan 12, those “Core Values” changed quite a bit when the NSA listed it’s new top value as “Commitment to Service” and deleted “Honesty” including “trust,” “honor,” and “openness” from it’s statement altogether.
While transparency and integrity are still included in the agency’s core values, the descriptions have changed a bit. According to Mashable, “instead of ‘behave honorably and apply good judgement,’ the description next to ‘Integrity’ now directs NSA employees to ‘communicate honestly and directly, acting ethically and fairly.'”
“Our obligation has not wavered; the agency remains firmly committed to communicating honestly and directly, and acting ethically and fairly,” Clarese Wilson, the NSA’s spokesperson, said in a statement, according to Mashable.
The NSA also added “Respect for People” and “Accountability” to its new list of values, but the reference to respect was tailored toward “diversity within the NSA workforce,” according to The Intercept_, while “Accountability” was defined as taking “responsibility for our decisions.”
Spokespersons for the NSA claim no wavered obligations when making the changes to the mission statement and called it “nothing more than a website update.”
“All six core values — Integrity, Transparency, Respect for People, Accountability, Commitment to Service, and Respect for the Law — provide a solid and credible foundation for our employees as they serve the nation and our allies,” Wilson said, according to Mashable.