NSA Whistleblower Attorney - Federal Lawyer

NSA Whistleblower Attorney

We Represent Government and Private-Sector Employees Who Need to Blow the Whistle on the NSA and NSA Contractors

Lynette Byrd
Attorney Lynette Byrd
NSA Whistleblower Team Lead
Former DOJ Attorney envelope icon Contact Lynette
Nick Oberheiden
Attorney Nick Oberheiden
NSA Whistleblower Team Lead envelope icon Contact Nick
Tim Allen
Tim Allen
NSA Whistleblower Team
Former Secret Service (Digital Forensics Expert)
Brian Kuester
Attorney Brian Kuester
NSA Whistleblower Team
Former U.S. Attorney and District Attorney envelope icon Contact Brian

Individuals who have information about fraud and other forms of misconduct involving the National Security Agency (NSA) play an important role in holding the Agency and its contractors accountable. By coming forward, NSA whistleblowers not only serve their civic duty, but also help ensure that past wrongs are not repeated in the future. While the NSA and its contractors’ roles are vital, they do not operate without limits. When they go beyond what the law allows, they can jeopardize the nation’s security and foreign policy efforts while also causing harm to the American public at large.

Under federal law, NSA whistleblowers are entitled to clear protections. As the NSA made clear in its 2018 Semi-Annual Report to Congress, in which it emphasized the importance of protecting those who choose to come forward:

“The guiding principle is clear: whistleblowers perform a valuable service to the Agency and the public when they come forward with what they reasonably believe to be evidence of wrongdoing, and they never should suffer reprisal for doing so.”

But, to ensure that you receive these protections, it is important that you work with an experienced NSA whistleblower lawyer. This is true for both NSA employees and NSA contractor personnel. While there are protections in place under PPD-19, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the FISA Amendments Act of 2017, and other federal statutes, history has shown that NSA whistleblowers can face intensive backlash when their identities are made known. At Oberheiden P.C., our NSA whistleblower attorneys can help protect your identity, and we can take any additional steps that are necessary to protect you once you make the decision to come forward.

When You Should Speak with an NSA Whistleblower Attorney

Like other federal agencies, the NSA has adopted strict rules for blowing the whistle. As the NSA makes clear, “[w]histleblowing and ‘leaking’ are not the same,” and whistleblowers must meet strict requirements in order to make protected disclosures.

Many of these requirements come from PPD-19. Signed by President Obama on October 10, 2012, this Presidential Policy Directive (PPD), titled Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information, defines what qualifies as a “protected disclosure” when blowing the whistle on the NSA or an NSA contractor. As stated in Section F(5)(a) of PPD-19, protected disclosures include (but are not limited to):

“[A] disclosure of information . . . that the employee reasonably believes evidences (i) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; or (ii) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.”

To qualify as a protected disclosure (and thus qualify for whistleblower protection), the disclosure must be made to a supervisor in the employee’s direct chain of command, an Inspector General, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, or another designated federal employee or office. Additionally, while protected disclosures can (and often will) involve classified information, a disclosure will not be protected if it “result[s] in the employee disclosing classified information or other information contrary to law.”

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden



Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney


Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

About the NSA Whistleblower Attorneys at Oberheiden P.C.

If you are thinking about making a protected disclosure involving the NSA or an NSA contractor, our whistleblower lawyers can help you take the next steps. Along with career federal defense lawyers, our team includes:

  • John L. Ratcliffe, Of Counsel and former U.S. Director of National Intelligence
  • Mike Pompeo, Of Counsel and former Congressman, CIA Director, and U.S. Secretary of State
  • Trey Gowdy, Of Counsel and former Congressman
  • Former U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys with the Justice Department
  • Former Special Agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other federal agencies

When you choose Oberheiden P.C. to represent you, you will work with several members of our team throughout the whistleblowing process. These lawyers and consultants will offer their insights based on extensive experience not only representing federal whistleblowers, but also handling whistleblower complaints inside of the federal government. We will help you make informed decisions every step of the way, we will not take any action without your involvement and approval, and we will communicate with the NSA and other federal authorities on your behalf while fully protecting your legal rights as a whistleblower.

Who We Represent in NSA Whistleblower Cases

We represent government personnel and private-sector employees in NSA whistleblower cases. Regardless of your position in the government or with an NSA contractor or subcontractor, we can work with you to help you blow the whistle. Our client list includes several high-ranking government officials as well as employees at all levels of public-sector and private-sector employment, and many of our lawyers—including John L. Ratcliffe, Mike Pompeo, and Trey Gowdy—have experience working with top officials at the highest levels of the U.S. government, including the President of the United States.

We represent NSA whistleblowers including:  

  • NSA analysts, computer scientists, communications officers, and other specialists
  • NSA and DOJ lawyers
  • NSA senior officials and personnel
  • Other federal government employees
  • Employees of NSA contractors and subcontractors

Once you contact us, we will arrange for you to speak with a senior NSA whistleblower lawyer promptly. This initial consultation is completely confidential, and it is intended as an opportunity for you to gather the information you need to make informed decisions about your next steps. If you decide to move forward, we will continue working closely with you in complete confidence in order to prepare and submit your protected disclosure to the appropriate federal official or agency. 

What You Can Expect from Oberheiden P.C.

When you are thinking about blowing the whistle on the NSA or an NSA contractor, it is important to know what to expect as you move forward. It is also important to know what to expect from your legal representation. Here is what you can expect from Oberheiden P.C.:

  • Complete Confidence – We will protect your identity at all times, and we will keep all information you share in complete confidence unless and until you decide to come forward.
  • Highly-Experienced Legal Representation – You will be represented by senior-level attorneys and work with senior-level consultants in all aspects of your NSA whistleblower case.
  • Straightforward Legal Advice – We will provide straightforward legal advice focused on ensuring that you have the information you need to make informed decisions.
  • Communication on Your Behalf – If you decide to come forward, we will communicate with the NSA and any other federal agencies involved in the government’s investigation on your behalf.
  • Focus on Your Protection – Throughout the process, we will focus on your protection. Regardless of the circumstances, protecting you—our client—will always be our top priority.

FAQs: Making a Protected Disclosure as an NSA Whistleblower

What Types of Information Qualify You for Protection as an NSA Whistleblower?

NSA whistleblowers can receive protection under FISA and PPD-19 for reporting a violation of any federal law, rule, or regulation. FISA and PPD-19 also protect government employees and contractors who disclose fraud, waste, and abuse (FWA); gross mismanagement; and risks to Americans’ health or safety. This is extremely broad; and, if you believe you may have information that qualifies you as an NSA whistleblower, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys promptly.

How Do You Make a Protected Disclosure to the NSA?

There are several mechanisms for making a protected disclosure to the NSA. While submitting a complaint to the NSA OIG Hotline is one option, it isn’t necessarily the best option in all circumstances. An NSA whistleblower attorney at Oberheiden P.C. can help you make an informed decision about how best to move forward.

Are You Entitled to Anonymity as an NSA Whistleblower?

NSA whistleblowers can remain anonymous if they choose to do so, and the NSA has a statutory obligation to maintain whistleblowers” confidentiality. If you decide to come forward, our attorneys can work with the NSA to protect your identity in accordance with federal law.

Are NSA Contractors Entitled to the Same Whistleblower Protections as NSA Personnel?

Yes, under the FISA Amendments Act of 2017, NSA contractors are entitled to the same whistleblower protections as NSA personnel. As the Agency explains, “employees of contractors, subcontractors, grantees, subgrantees, or personal service contractors are protected against reprisal in the form of an adverse personnel action or an adverse security clearance determination for making a protected communication.”

What Can an NSA Whistleblower Attorney Do to Help You?

An NSA whistleblower attorney can help you decide whether to come forward. If you choose to come forward, your attorney can prepare and submit your protected disclosure while protecting your identity. Your attorney can also deal with the NSA (and other federal authorities on your behalf), and your attorney will be able to answer your questions and provide legal advice throughout the process.

Speak with a Senior NSA Whistleblower Lawyer in Confidence

If you need more information about blowing the whistle, we encourage you to contact us promptly. Please call 888-680-1745 or tell us how we can reach you online to speak with a senior NSA whistleblower attorney at Oberheiden P.C. in confidence.

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