- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Congress grills intel officials on data-gathering practices; sharp words exchanged
Question of the Day
“They’ve helped us eliminate terrorist threats,” Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said at his weekly press briefing.
Democrats countered that public commentary is hampered by secrecy laws and promised that more details about the programs’ successes would be declassified as early as next week.
The NSA’s director, Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, briefed the House and Senate intelligence committees about his agency’s data-collection efforts that were exposed last week by a former computer systems administrator.
Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said that terrorists already are modifying their communication habits after leaks about NSA’s top-secret surveillance programs, which collect millions of telephone records and track foreign Internet activity on U.S. networks.
There are “changes we can already see being made by the folks who wish to do us harm, and our allies harm,” Mr. Rogers said without providing details.
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the committee’s ranking Democrat, said he expressed concern about Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked information about the program and fled to Hong Kong.
“It seems unusual that he would be in China and asking for the protection of the Chinese government but we’re going to investigate,” Mr. Ruppersberger said.
In an interview published Thursday in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper, Mr. Snowden claimed that the U.S. has long been attacking a Hong Kong university that routes all Internet traffic in and out of the semiautonomous Chinese region.
Gen. Alexander gave the committee a closed-door briefing about NSA’s surveillance programs, and lawmakers urged him to speedily make public whatever he can.
“The more we can get unclassified the more the public will understand,” Mr. Ruppersberger said after the briefing.
He said he hopes that details about “at least 10” terrorist plots that had been uncovered with the programs’ help could be revealed as soon as next week.
“It’s in the advantage of people who really want this program understood to get those examples out,” Mr. Rogers said.
But there are critics as well as defenders of NSA snooping on both sides of the aisle.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- NSA monitored 'World of Warcraft' players
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- Hezbollah warring in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Despite rhetoric, gun prosecutions plummet under Obama
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq