News / USA

NSA Chief Nominee Pledges to Rebuild Trust with American People

U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Michael Rogers (R) and U.S. Air Force General Paul Selva attend the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 11, 2014.
U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Michael Rogers (R) and U.S. Air Force General Paul Selva attend the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 11, 2014.
Michael Bowman
U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday reiterated their concerns about the nation’s intelligence gathering activities exposed by a fugitive former contractor at the National Intelligence Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden. At a confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, senators sought answers from President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the NSA, who promised to rebuild trust through dialogue with the American people.

Recent months have brought unprecedented scrutiny and public shaming of the NSA, whose reach into the lives of Americans and foreigners alike has been revealed in successive waves of explosive revelations from Snowden.

And the man tapped to lead the agency out of the current morass, Navy Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, sat through more than two hours of questioning during Tuesday's Senate confirmation hearing. Republican Ted Cruz blasted the NSA's focus on bulk data collection.

“The government collecting metadata or, even more so, the content between law-abiding citizens is an issue that I believe the [U.S.] Constitution speaks very directly to," Cruz said. "It would be a far better allocation of resources in the NSA if much more resources were directed to targeting those who we have reason to know are dangerous, we have reason to know are or may be radical Islamic terrorists.”

That sentiment was echoed by Democratic Senator Mark Udall.

“The Constitution is not an impediment to our security." he said. "It is the source of our security.  We can end bulk [data] collection and focus on terrorists and spies without infringing on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.”

Admiral Rogers said data collection is a necessary tool to keep America safe, but acknowledged that trust must be rebuilt between the nation’s intelligence apparatus and its people.

“One of my challenges as the [NSA] director, if confirmed, is how do we engage the American people, and by extension their representatives, in a dialogue in which they have a level of comfort as to what we are doing and why," he said, adding, "It is no insignificant challenge.”

One senator, Democrat Tim Kaine, said Congress is not without blame, noting that lawmakers authorized an open-ended war on terrorism after the attacks of September 11, 2001.  He said Congress is only now beginning to assert its authority and set limitations in the conduct of that war that should have been established from the start.

Earlier this week, Snowden expressed no regrets about his actions.  Speaking from Russia via videocast to a technology conference in Texas, Snowden said that the government and the public have benefited from the information he revealed.

If confirmed by the Senate, Admiral Rogers would succeed outgoing NSA Director Keith Alexander, who assumed the post during former president George W. Bush’s second term.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bubbly Betty from: Dark side of the moon
March 11, 2014 6:41 PM
That's a bit like a fox trying to rebuild trust among chickens.
The surveillance technologies are moving forward and things like RFID or smart dust are plain scary. If you want to know more about mass surveillance techniques used against you today read section 3.5 of this academic paper:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2383166

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid