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“We have to err on the side of transparency if we are to continue enjoying the trust of the American people and their elected representatives,” he said. But “transparency is a double-edged sword. It’s good for us, good for the people, but our enemies also go to school on it.”

While not commenting directly on reports that Mr. Snowden may have stolen more than 60,000 classified documents form NSA computer networks, Mr. Clapper did warn that there are many more revelations to come and said they might damage the reputation of not just the NSA, but the whole intelligence community.