NSA Director Defends Surveillance Operations

In an interview with The New York Times, Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, defended the surveillance work done by his agency, while acknowledging that “it’s important to have a public, transparent discussion on cyber so that the American people know what’s going on.” 

Alexander told the Times that the threats from terrorism and cyberattacks will require the use of more computer monitoring. And while he admitted that his agency had, as the Times put it, “stumbled” in the wake of the documents leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, he said that the biggest problem was a public misunderstanding about what the agency does. 

“We, and that includes the press, have not informed the American people in such a way that they can make a right decision here,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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