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Tag: government surveillance

NSA Director Defends Surveillance Programs As Critical Tools in Fight Against Terrorism

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The director of the National Security Agency forcefully defended the surveillance programs Wednesday that kept tabs on Internet activity and collected millions of telephone records, the Associated Press reports.

The once-secret programs, which was disclosed this month to an incensed public, were invaluable tools in the fight against terrorism, said NSA Director and Army Gen. Keith Alexander.

But Alexander declined to disclose any details of the thwarted terrorist attacks during the congressional hearing, the AP wrote.

“I do think it’s important that we get this right and I want the American people to know that we’re trying to be transparent here, protect civil liberties and privacy but also the security of this country,” Alexander told a Senate panel.

 

NSA Debate Likely to Extend to Confirmation Hearings of James Comey

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee to lead the FBI, James Comey, is likely to face scrutiny over government surveillance following the discovery that the NSA had access to virtually all Americans’ phones, The Wall Street Journal reports.

That’s because Comey, a former prosecutor, is intimately familiar with surveillance.

In 2004, Comey threatened to resign from the Justice Department after senior White House aides wanted to reauthorize a secret surveillance program over Comey’s opposition.

“I don’t think the Senate will hold up his confirmation, but I do think you’ll have these collateral issues becoming part of the confirmation process,” said Joe Whitley, a former senior lawyer with the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department during the Bush administration. “Both sides of the aisle, I think, will ask questions about it, and one or more senators could say they want answers on this before they move forward with the confirmation process.”