Mass phone record gathering necessary: NSA chief

Mass phone record gathering necessary: NSA chief

Summary: The mass collection of telephone data is necessary to monitor communications between terrorist suspects, the head of a US spy agency has said.

TOPICS: Security, Privacy

General Keith Alexander, director of the American National Security Agency (NSA), defended the bulk gathering of metadata on phone calls, saying, "There is no other way that we know of to connect the dots."

The NSA collects information about which phone numbers are involved and the duration of calls, but not any information from actual conversations.

He told senators at a hearing that ending the mass collection program "is absolutely not an option".

Members of the US Congress have called for greater restraints on US spying programs after media reports in recent months revealed the mass surveillance of telephone and internet records, and spying on international leaders' mobile communications.

Former government contractor Edward Snowden began providing information about the extent of US spying efforts to the media earlier this year, prompting outrage from US allies and civil libertarians.

US President Barack Obama has said that the US is to unveil "self restraints" on surveillance in the coming weeks after an internal review.

Topics: Security, Privacy

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  • murders, allies spying also necessary?? The USA behaves like real fascists.

    murders, allies spying also necessary?? The USA behaves like real fascists. Stop it!

    The US government murdered not just 4487 US soldiers and 179 UK soldiers through the lies about mass destruction weapons existence in Iraq.

    The US government conducts a surveillance of all the US citizens, EU officials (Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff etc.) and all the people in the world to keep power. The reason can not be terrorism. Or is the chancellor of Germany or the brazilian President terrorists?

    CIA documents acknowledge its role in Iran's 1953 coup (all just for oil), documents also admits changing US public opinions.

    The US government knows that these murders, surveillances, lies are not sustainable so has prepared concentrations camps for the US citizens when a bigger crisis comes.

    You can be KILLED or you can LOSE all your rights (indefinite detention) when the USA says you are just an abettor of terrorism (just striking? who knows?), Washingtonpost: "10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free".

    The USA = murders for power, General Wesley Clark, retired 4-star U.S. Army general: "We’re going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran.." (about ten days after 9/11: “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”)
  • Necessity

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

    Speech in the House of Commons (18 November, 1783). Compare: "And with necessity, / The tyrant's plea, / excus'd his devilish deeds", John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book iv, line 393.
  • Still trying... figure out if these robodrones are really, really evil or just really, really dumb.
  • Stop nay saying and come up with a better solution

    I don't like all the spying and I don't believe very much of what the US govt is on about. But I don't see any other way to effectively protect against those that would harm us. I see all you guys getting your knickers in a knot about the conspiracies but no real solutions as to how to prevent those who don't play by the rules.

    Remember when armies would stop fighting so they could take a tea break, or have a good night's sleep? Those days are over and we need to be better prepared than our adversaries.

    Don't flame me and spew bile at me, or regurgitate your anti-govt manifestos, give me a coherent argument as to a better way to achieve dominance over those that would destroy us .