News / USA

    NSA Chief: Surveillance Helped Stop 'Dozens' of Attacks

    Gen. Keith B. Alexander, commander, U.S. Cyber Command and director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 12, 2013, before the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.
    Gen. Keith B. Alexander, commander, U.S. Cyber Command and director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 12, 2013, before the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.
    The head of the National Security Agency told a U.S. congressional panel on Wednesday that dozens of terrorist attacks have been prevented thanks to a recently revealed surveillance program that has raised concerns about privacy.

    Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, appeared before a Senate panel looking into cybersecurity threats.
     
    But a number of senators appeared more concerned about a secret surveillance program that has been mining Americans’ telephone and Internet data.
     
    Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont asked the NSA chief how many attacks had been thwarted by data collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which was signed into law shortly after the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.
     
    Alexander: It’s dozens of terrorist events that these have helped prevent.
    Leahy: Ok, so dozens.  Now we collect millions of millions of millions of records through 215, but dozens of them have proved crucial, or critical, is that right?  Dozens?
    Alexander: For both here and abroad, in disrupting or contributing to the disruption of terrorist attacks.”
    Leahy: Out of those millions, dozens have been critical.”
    Alexander: That’s correct.
     
    The questioning came after details of the program were leaked by a government contractor.
     
    Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois pointed out that the contractor, Edward Snowden, was a 29-year-old high school dropout who had worked as a security guard at the NSA.  Durbin said he wanted to look at that resume.

    “And ask you if you’re troubled that he was given that kind of opportunity to be so close to important information that was critical to the security of our nation,” Durbin said.

    “I do have concerns about that, over the process, Senator.  I have great concerns over that, the access that he had, Alexander said.
     
    Alexander, who also heads the U.S. Cyber Command, promised to declassify some information in the coming days to show that the surveillance programs are working lawfully and in the national interest.
     
    “This is not us doing something under the covers, this is what we’re doing on behalf of all of us, for the good of this country.  Now, what we need to do, I think, is to bring as many facts as we can out to the American people," Alexander said.
     
    Several lawmakers said that U.S. intelligence agencies are engaged in a cyber war and need, as one of them put it, “a little space.”

    You May Like

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves in Landmark Discovery

    Researchers likened discovery to difference between looking at piece of music on paper and then hearing it in real life

    Prince Ali: FIFA Politics Affected International Fixtures

    Some countries faced unfavorable treatment for not toeing political line inside soccer world body, Jordanian candidate to head FIFA says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Sammy
    June 13, 2013 12:26 PM
    Please Mr Alexander you dont have to justify or prove anything.
    Playing your cards in public is not a "smart". Dont go down this road, it is not necessary. France and Israel dont explain security operations and neither should the USA.
    In Response

    by: li baba from: new york
    June 13, 2013 9:22 PM
    what you are going to say. terrorism are well organize and well paid by gulf countries and us have to stop them. . we are not talking about pretext. it is a fact

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    June 13, 2013 7:21 AM
    The surveillance is a national necessity, so no one should see it a hacking into their personal secrets. America has been known to be a free country and those in want of elaborate secrecy should look for somewhere else. If the security operatives must do their world and do well, they should be allowed the free hand to carry it out to the satisfaction of all and especially so that the country is secure. If they had done it this way in the past, 9/11 would not have happened.

    by: ali baba from: new york
    June 12, 2013 10:23 PM
    surveillance program is a good method to prevent terror attack and it has to continue to save lives. we are dealing with invisible enemy that has higher skill to hide himself and the enemy which is very vicious and full of hatred .we have to use any means necessary to defend the nation and keep the country safe we should not listen .civil liberties .if we listen to them ,we shall see the bodies of innocent people on the street

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.