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Top NSA spy is leaving position after conflict of interest accusations

Buzzfeed learned of the NSA spy's plans to step down earlier this week.

By Thor Benson
Top NSA spy is leaving position after conflict of interest accusations
NSA headquarters in Fort Meade. (CC/NSA)

FORT MEADE, Md., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Teresa Shea has been the director of signals intelligence, or SIGINT, at the National Security Agency since 2010, but she will no longer maintain that position. Reports of a possible conflict of interest arose recently, though the NSA claims that's not the reason she will be leaving her job.

Buzzfeed's Aram Roston has followed Shea's career, and released several reports pointing to a complex web of associations with NSA contractors. An NSA spokesman reportedly confirmed to Buzzfeed Shea will be leaving her position at SIGINT.

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SIGINT is a part of the NSA that intercepts communications, which includes the domestic surveillance program revealed by Edward Snowden. SIGINT is often involved in breaking very complicated encryptions to access private communications around the world.

DRS Signals Solutions is a company that provides products and services to the NSA, and Shea's husband is its vice president. Her husband is also involved with a company -- based out of their home -- that has connections with SIGINT. Further, Roston found she owns an "electronics business," as he puts it, that owns an airplane and a condominium in South Carolina and also runs out of her home, but he has not established exactly what that company does.

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Roston reports Shea could stand to profit from her businesses based on her position at the top of SIGINT.

The NSA spokesman told Buzzfeed Shea leaving her position was "planned well before recent news articles," and that she remains employed by the agency.

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