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US spy chief defends ‘noble’ mission, denounces leaks

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Posted September 26, 2013

The head of the National Security Agency Wednesday defended US surveillance programs as part of a “noble” mission to protect the nation and said reports on them were “sensationalized.”

 

“The future of this country depends on our ability to defend against cyber attacks and terrorist threats, and we need the tools to do it,” said General Keith Alexander, chief of the NSA.

The agency heads the PRISM program and other vast data collection efforts revealed in recent months by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Alexander, speaking at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit in Washington, said there have been relatively few terror attacks on US soil since September 11, 2001 despite growing threats around the world.

“This is not by accident. It’s by a lot of hard work,” he told the forum. “Twenty-two cryptologists lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’re the heroes, not the (people behind) media leaks.”

Alexander appealed to the public to support the surveillance effort, which is coming under scrutiny in Congress, and argued that the facts about the programs have been distorted.

 

Read more at: Phys.org

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