What Is Carly Fiorina's Stance On The NSA? She & The Agency Go Way Back
President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly considering his former campaign rival Carly Fiorina to serve as Director of National Intelligence, according to The New York Times. Like Trump, Fiorina's career has primarily been in business, but she also spent two years as chair of the Central Intelligence Agency's External Advisory Board. During her presidential bid, Fiorina revealed her close relationship with the NSA and CIA while she was still CEO of Hewlett-Packard. If Trump does indeed hire Fiorina for his cabinet, we can expect her to continue aiding the NSA's spying activities.
Last September, Michael Hayden, formerly the director of the National Security Agency, shared with Yahoo! News an instance in which Fiorina helped the agency by providing HP computer servers in order to expand the infamous wiretapping program called "Stellar Wind"; he claimed to not have shared specifics as to what the servers would be used for.
Fiorina herself shared this anecdote at a debate during the primaries.
Let me tell you a story. Soon after 9/11, I got a phone call from the NSA. They needed help. I gave them help. I stopped a truckload of equipment. I had it turned around. It was escorted by the NSA into headquarters. We need the private sector's help, because government is not innovating. Technology is running ahead by leaps and bounds. The private sector will help, just as I helped after 9/11. But they must be engaged, and they must be asked. I will ask them. I know them.
While Fiorina has stated that she believes intelligence agencies must be more transparent, her immediate response to this NSA request suggests she's not opposed to many of the agency's activities. She has previously spoken of not being aware of circumstances where the NSA "went too far" and has implied that there are greater threats the public should be worrying about than privacy.
Another interesting tidbit in Fiorina's history involves her business dealings with Russia during her time at HP. Following her meeting with Trump's transition team on Monday, Fiorina told reporters that she and the president-elect "talked about hacking, whether it's Chinese hacking or purported Russian hacking" and referred to China as "our most important adversary and a rising adversary."
She also had a private meeting with Putin in 2001 for 45 minutes and the company regularly did business with Russia. "He was interested in meeting me and I was interested in meeting him," she said. "He told jokes and I took measure of the man."
Needless to say, Fiorina has been more than wiling to lend the NSA a helping hand in the past. Today, if she's appointed as Director of National Intelligence, it's unlikely that will change.