Strauss Center and Intelligence Studies Project Host NSA’s General Counsel

News | November 7, 2016

Glenn Gerstell, the General Counsel of the National Security Agency (NSA), visited the University of Texas at Austin last week to discuss his experiences leading NSA’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) and to share insights on legal issues currently confronting the U.S. Intelligence Community.

During a talk to an overflowing classroom at the UT School of Law, Gerstell described his distinguished career in a private legal practice before his appointment as NSA’s General Counsel. He explained how NSA’s OGC is structured and staffed to provide legal guidance on a broad range of topics of interest to the Agency. Gerstell also commented on the role that lawyers routinely play in reviewing, approving, and overseeing operational activities undertaken by NSA and other intelligence agencies. 

Student questions focused on state-sponsored cyberattacks, opportunities and risks in the emerging “Internet of Things”, and increased transparency within the U.S. Intelligence Community under the leadership of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

After his talk at the Law School, Gerstell met with law students enrolled in “Law of the Intelligence Community: From Surveillance to Covert Action” led by Strauss Center Director Robert Chesney, and an LBJ School seminar on “Intelligence and National Security” with ISP Director Steve Slick.