Jun 18 2013, 6:54pm CDT | by Luigi Lugmayr
Washington, June 19 — Two phone and Internet surveillance programmes run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) helped disrupt over 50 potential terrorist attacks against the US and its allies, the agency's chief said Tuesday.
Two classified programmes, one collecting US phone records and the other mining Internet data, were revealed last week after leaks from defense contractor Edward Snowden. The Congress panel hearing Tuesday was the first of its kind dedicated to the recent disclosures of the phone and Internet surveillance programmes by the NSA.
Army General Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of US Cyber Command, defended the recently revealed surveillance programmes before members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Xinhua reported.
"Let me start by saying that I would much rather be here today debating this point than trying to explain how we failed to prevent another 9/11," said Alexander, while stressing that these two programmes have held great value to "our national security and that of our allies" in combating terrorism.
"In recent years, these programmes, together with other intelligence, have protected the US and our allies from terrorist threats across the globe to include helping prevent the terrorist -- the potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/ 11," he claimed.
The plots included a previously undisclosed plan to blow up the New York Stock Exchange, Alexander added and noted the Sep. 11 attacks in 2001 occurred in part because of "a failure on the part of our government to connect those dots," some of which were already in the country.
The four-star general also told members that agency officials planned to provide them with an unclassified summary of the foiled terror plots to Congress by Wednesday.
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.
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