The Patriot Act provision that allowed the NSA to collect phone records has helped thwart “dozens” of terror events, Gen. Keith Alexander said during a congressional hearing on cybersecurity.
Alexander promised that records showing the secret surveillance program was critical to disrupting terrorist plots will be made public within a week.
According to the United States laws “order that allowed for the NSA collection of phone records of millions of Americans was based on Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows law enforcement to obtain a wide variety of “business records,” including calling records.”
Earlier Edward Snowden, in an interview with the South China Morning Post, said the NSA has engaged in more than 60,000 hacking operations worldwide, with hundreds aimed at Chinese targets.
In the text of a prepared statement by NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander, he says, “We do not see a tradeoff between security and liberty. It is not a choice, and we can and must do both simultaneously.”
Gen. Keith Alexander, chief of National Security Agency and the U.S. Cyber Command, is testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.
Though the hearing is ostensibly about cybersecurity and workforce training, it is the first time an official from the super-secret agency has been scheduled to appear before a congressional committee since news broke of the NSA’s sweeping Internet surveillance program.