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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More