- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 15, 2018

Army Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, President Trump’s nominee to head the National Security Agency, is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday in his second confirmation hearing.

Gen. Nakasone is expected to face questions from lawmakers on a range of cybersecurity issues. Questions could include the status of America’s international cyber defenses, strategies to thwart future election interference by Russia, and the extent of the federal government’s surveillance program and accompanying process to obtain warrants to spy on suspects.

A decorated military intelligence veteran with over three decades of experience, Gen. Nakasone has also been nominated to lead U.S. Cyber Command. If confirmed, he will manage roughly 36,000 intelligence professionals who oversee the world’s most sophisticated domestic and international spying program.

Recent years have been tough on the NSA’s once stellar and secretive image, including 2013’s extraordinary leak of documents by contractor Edward Snowden that detailed the agency’s incredible reach. While the leak sparked a global debate about digital privacy, Mr. Snowden was accused of espionage by the U.S. government and has been in hiding in Russia ever since.

Earlier this month, Gen. Nakasone told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that countries around the world that have launched cyberattacks against the U.S. — including China and Russia — don’t fear retribution and see no reason to change their behavior.

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