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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid