A technical expert who helped The Washington Post decipher complex National Security Agency documents leaked by Edward Snowden is now going to join the government.
The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday that it has appointed Ashkan Soltani as its new chief technologist. He will provide technical advice to the agency, putting him in place to help the government crackdown on private companies that illegally invade their customers' privacy.
What he won't be doing anymore, however, is exposing government surveillance programs that were intended to be secret.
Soltani has worked as a technical expert for state attorneys general, and has provided advice to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He won the Pulitzer Prize this year as a co-author on The Washington Post's coverage of the Snowden documents. He helped the other journalists understand the massive batch of documents and accurately describe the NSA's controversial programs, which sweep up millions of phone and Internet records. Earlier in his career, Soltani worked for two technology companies.
He previously worked as a staff technologist at the FTC from 2010 to 2011.
Soltani will succeed Latanya Sweeney as the FTC's chief technologist next month. Sweeney will return to Harvard University, where she directs the Data Privacy Lab.