News / USA

Next NSA Chief to Face Challenges, Change

Stage Set for New NSA Restrictions?i
November 03, 2013 12:47 AM
Outrage over U.S. National Security Agency's widespread collection of telephone, Internet data from American allies could lead to a changed landscape for the spy agency. As VOA's Kent Klein reports, the next NSA director likely will face greater scrutiny by Congress.
VIDEO: Flood of revelations about NSA's bulk data collections sets stage for Congress to impose new restrictions on the super secret agency. VOA's Kent Klein has more.
Kent Klein
Outrage over the U.S. National Security Agency's widespread collection of telephone and Internet data from American allies could lead to a changed landscape for the spy agency.
Allegations the National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on phone and internet communications of world leaders have angered U.S. allies in Europe and elsewhere.
U.S.-based Internet companies Yahoo and Google were upset to learn the NSA has been secretly tapping their data, searching private information about hundreds of millions of people.
The flood of revelations about NSA bulk data collections sets the stage for Congress to impose new restrictions on the super secret agency's activities.
NSA Director, Army General Keith Alexander, is retiring early next year, and his successor will need to restore confidence in his agency, according to Paul Tiao, a former adviser to the FBI director and now a partner at the Hunton and Williams law firm.
"So it is going to be important for the NSA director to be able to manage and build relationships of trust, both with foreign leaders and his counterparts in signals-intelligence agencies overseas, but also with industry, with industry leaders," he said.
Alexander was making retirement plans before former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed classified agency documents exposing the surveillance programs.
But how will the spymaster's tenure be remembered?
A senior fellow at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, James Andrew Lewis, says Alexander is widely respected for running NSA, while establishing and leading the spy agency's military counterpart, Cyber Command.
"I have asked people, you know, after the Snowden thing, what is likely to happen to Alexander, and the answer you get from senior administration officials and from Republicans is that he is irreplaceable," he said.
Former NSA official and whistleblower William Binney says the NSA spying violates the U.S. Constitution, and he disputes Alexander's claim that massive domestic data collection is needed to prevent acts of terrorism.
Binney does not, however, expect the next NSA leader to abandon phone and Internet spying.
"I do not believe that anything is going to change unless they change the policy and what they are doing at NSA," he said.
"That is their mission," said Tiao, explaining that he also expects the surveillance to continue. "To collect communications on terrorists, on foreign intelligence actors, on cyberthreat actors."
Some people are calling for separate leaders for NSA and Cyber Command, saying Alexander wields too much power by holding both jobs.
But Lewis says Alexander has performed responsibly.
"It is very tightly controlled," he said. "He is part of the chain of command. There have not been any problems."
Either way, President Barack Obama's choice for the next leader or leaders of NSA and Cyber Command will need to work closely with Congress and America's allies.

You May Like

Map Shows Every US School Shooting Since 2013

There have been at least 150 school shootings in the United States since 2013, an average of nearly one per week More

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs