Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Privacy

Outgoing NSA Chief Wants Snooping Row ‘Resolved’

WASHINGTON – The outgoing chief of the National Security Agency told lawmakers Thursday he wants to end the controversy over massive surveillance programs to move forward on key defense and cybersecurity issues.

WASHINGTON – The outgoing chief of the National Security Agency told lawmakers Thursday he wants to end the controversy over massive surveillance programs to move forward on key defense and cybersecurity issues.

General Keith Alexander, who is due to retire this month, said the public outcry over leaked NSA documents has prevented progress on issues such as cybersecurity legislation.

“I think that we need to step back, set a framework for discussion with the American people,” Alexander told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“This is going to be absolutely important in setting up what we can and cannot do in cyberspace to protect this country. And from my perspective, that’s going to be one of the big issues that we move forward. I think a precursor to that is getting the NSA issues resolved. We have to get those resolved because, ironically, it operates in the same space.”

Alexander said that in line with a directive from President Barack Obama, his agency will draft a proposal for reforming the NSA and its surveillance authority.

Obama last month ordered a revamp of the NSA authority including a plan that could retain bulk data collection of phone records, but outside of government.

Alexander said that as the reforms move ahead, there is a need to advance stalled cybersecurity legislation that would enable better information sharing between government and private networks about threats to key infrastructure such as pipelines, power grids and financial networks.

“I am concerned… that the lack of legislation will impact our ability to defend the country in this area,” Alexander said.

“I do think, though, given where we are today, we have to be transparent on this in the cyber legislation so the American people can enter into it.” Alexander, who also heads the military’s Cyber Command, said that unit’s mission depends on the NSA and its intelligence-gathering.

“If there is an attack, especially a destructive attack, the probability that that will get through is higher in the civilian infrastructure,” he said.

“From my perspective, the space, cyberspace, where both NSA and now Cyber Command operates, is one space where both the good guys and the bad guys both operate in that same space. Forty years ago it was different. Foreign military communications were on a separate circuit from our domestic communications. Now they’re all intertwined.”

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Ransomware

US government reminds the public that a reward of up to $10 million is offered for information on cybercriminals, including members of the Hive...

Ransomware

The Hive ransomware website has been seized as part of an operation that involved law enforcement in 10 countries.

Privacy

The EU's digital policy chief warned TikTok’s boss that the social media app must fall in line with tough new rules for online platforms...

Cybercrime

The owner of China-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato was arrested in Miami along with five associates in Europe

Cybersecurity Funding

Los Gatos, Calif-based data protection and privacy firm Titaniam has raised $6 million seed funding from Refinery Ventures, with participation from Fusion Fund, Shasta...

Privacy

Meta was fined an additional $5.9 million for violating EU data protection regulations with WhatsApp messaging app.

Cyberwarfare

Google Project Zero has disclosed the details of three Samsung phone vulnerabilities that have been exploited by a spyware vendor since when they still...