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New NSA deputy expected to be leaks task force head: sources

By Tabassum Zakaria and Warren Strobel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Richard Ledgett, who heads a new task force at the National Security Agency to handle information leaks, is expected to take over as the deputy director of the spy agency after the current No. 2 retires in January, sources told Reuters.

Ledgett is the executive in charge of matters related to unauthorized media disclosures, a position that was created after the unauthorized leaks to media of top secret spy surveillance programs by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden this year.

Ledgett's duties include overseeing improvements to internal systems and assessing what information was taken in unauthorized disclosures.

He was previously director of the NSA's Threat Operations Center and director for collection/national intelligence manager for cyber at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

He is expected to replace John "Chris" Inglis who is due to retire in January, said sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

An NSA spokeswoman declined to comment.

Next year, the director and deputy directors of NSA and Cyber Command will be stepping down, giving President Barack Obama an opportunity to reshape the leadership structure.

Army General Keith Alexander, who wears the dual hat of NSA director and head of Cyber Command, plans to leave in March.

Cyber Command has the authority to engage in both defensive and offensive operations in cyberspace. The vacancies give Obama the opportunity to decide whether the NSA and Cyber Command should have separate leaders.

The deputy at Cyber Command, Marine Corps Lieutenant General Jon Davis, is due to leave in June when his two-year assignment is completed.

(Editing by Alistair Bell and Mohammad Zargham)

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