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NSA chief may lose 'cyber command' powers

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General Keith Alexander
General Keith Alexander

General Keith Alexander currently holds two positions: NSA director and chief of the US Cyber Command, which oversees all military operations in cyberspace. But there's a growing consensus to separate the two positions after Alexander steps down in 2014, according to a new report by The Hill. Keeping the two positions separate could add a crucial check on NSA power, resulting in a less invasive NSA. "Sometimes it's better to have two centers of power," one analyst told The Hill. "If you have just one, it's more efficient, but you end up making dumb decisions."

The Cyber Command was established in 2009, just four years after Alexander took command of the NSA. At the time, it seemed like a natural fit, a formal recognition of the NSA's authority in electronic surveillance. But as concerns about technical proficiency change to concerns about oversight, many in the Pentagon appear to be questioning that logic.