Is NSA exaggerating its surveillance successes?

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Has the National Security Agency exaggerated the importance of some of its sweeping surveillance programs? That’s what agency critics are charging after top US security officials defended recently disclosed NSA activities at an extraordinary House Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday.

NSA collection of US phone metadata and snooping on the Internet traffic of foreign terrorism suspects has helped prevent 50 terrorist attacks in 20 countries, NSA Director Keith Alexander told largely sympathetic Intelligence Committee lawmakers.

Ten of the thwarted incidents were “homeland-based threats,” said General Alexander. These included a nascent attempt to bomb the New York Stock Exchangeand a plot to set off backpack bombs on the New York City subway, according to NSA officials.

Given the possible intrusiveness of the NSA programs in question, that is not much in the way of a track record of success, claimed national security bloggerMarcy Wheeler in response to these revelations.

“Headline for this hearing HAS to be: Dragnet provides little upside, that can be provided in other, for massive risk,” she tweeted.

Read the rest of the article here.

Vince Perfetto

Vince adds diverse experience to the Foundation with a background in broadcasting, accounting, and telecommunications. He loves living in the freest state in America, New Hampshire. With a “Live Free or Die” attitude and a strong independent streak, Vince feels right at home among his fellow N.H. citizens. He was raised to respect others and to work hard to achieve his goals, and thus takes pride in saying he has “the best parents, ever.” When Vince isn’t working on the Foundation, he enjoys hiking, reading, and relaxing with a great New England micro brew.

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