Kate Scanlon

The National Security Agency recently removed “honesty” from a list of the agency’s “core values,” The Intercept reported.

What happened?

According to the report, since at least May 2016, the NSA listed four core values on its website: “Honesty,” “Respect for the Law,” “Integrity,” and “Transparency.”

Under “Honesty” the agency wrote:

We recognize that national leaders and the American people at large have placed great trust in us, and we strive at all times to be deserving of that trust. We will be truthful with each other, and honor the public’s need for openness, balanced against national security interests.

However, on Jan. 12, the agency made alterations to its list of core values.

The word “Honesty” was removed, although “Respect for the Law,” “Integrity,” and “Transparency” remain in the list. The agency added “Commitment to Service,” “Respect for People,” and “Accountability” to the list instead.

The report noted that in the updated descriptions of each value, the agency scrubbed all references to “trust,” “honor,” and “openness.”

The Intercept reported that the agency altered the page earlier this month. The old version can still be viewed through the Internet Archive.

What did the NSA say?

Asked by The Intercept about the change, Thomas Groves, a spokesperson for the agency, said: “It’s nothing more than a website update, that’s all it is.”