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.”

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
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