Rajesh De. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM.

When Rajesh De was first approached about joining the National Security Agency as its general counsel, advisers warned him he might be the last person standing between a free democracy and an Orwellian surveillance program. The reality wasn’t quite so dramatic, says De, who also served in the Obama White House and is now a partner at Mayer Brown. But during his tenure, what was long known as “No Such Agency” was forced to confront just how secret it really needed to be after the leaks by Edward Snowden.

In this episode of Unprecedented, De talks about surveillance reforms post-Snowden, the role of cybersecurity attorneys in an era of state-sponsored hacking, and draws a line between leaks of White House gossip and spilling classified information. “I do think the government has a solemn responsibility not to be overly secretive,” he says.

Listen to the full podcast here.

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About the podcast: “Unprecedented” is a biweekly podcast hosted by Law.com reporter Ben Hancock about technology, the law, and the future of litigation. Based in San Francisco, Ben writes about third-party litigation finance, legal data analytics, artificial intelligence, privacy, and related issues. Listen to more Law.com podcasts here.