N.S.A. Director Firmly Defends Surveillance Efforts
By DAVID E. SANGER and THOM SHANKER October 12, 2013
FORT MEADE, Md. - The director of the National Security Agency, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, said in an interview that to prevent terrorist attacks he saw no effective alternative to the N.S.A.'s bulk collection of telephone and other electronic metadata from Americans. But he acknowledged that his agency now faced an entirely new reality, and the possibility of Congressional restrictions, after revelations about its operations at home and abroad.
While offering a detailed defense of his agency's work, General Alexander said the broader lesson of the controversy over disclosures of secret N.S.A. surveillance missions was that he and other top officials have to be more open in explaining the agency's role, especially as it expands its mission into cyberoffense and cyberdefense.