Nominee to head NSA leery of delays inherent in 3rd-party collection of telephone data
WASHINGTON — If the government turns over the bulk collection of telephone data to an independent third party, higher costs and delays in identifying potential threats could result, the Navy admiral nominated to be the next head of the troubled National Security Agency said on Tuesday.
Vice Adm. Mike Rogers, who also has been nominated to take over U.S. Cyber Command, provided little new insight into how he would handle planned changes of the NSA's surveillance programs.
Several senators questioned Rogers about a breach of an unclassified Navy computer network, which occurred last summer, and he acknowledged it was “significant.” Officials have blamed the incursion on Iran, but Rogers would not confirm that Tehran was behind it. He said, however, that “in this case, they did not opt to engage in any destructive behaviors. And my concern from the beginning was, well, what if they had decided that was their intent.”
Officials have provided little detail on the breach, but said hackers got into the system by taking advantage of vulnerabilities in the network.
Rogers, a former intelligence director for the Joint Staff and the current head of the Navy's Cyber Command, said the damage done by the breach was “of concern,” and added that he ordered a broader response that would do more than simply remove the hackers from the network to prevent another breach.
Defense officials have acknowledged it took about four months — until early November — to purge the hackers from the network.
“The geopolitical consequences of such an attack should really be profound,” said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. “However, it remains unclear what, if anything, this administration would do in response to such behavior. Would a similar penetration by the Iranians' warplanes into American airspace be treated with such ambivalence? I would hope not.”
On the planned changes to the NSA's data collection programs, Rogers said a key concern would be to maintain the ability to quickly run queries through the data “to generate information and insight in a way that enables us to act in a timely way.”
And while he pledged to make the NSA's activities more transparent to the American public, he warned senators that doing so without revealing classified intelligence is not an insignificant challenge.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Los Angeles police kill man in struggle captured on video
- Natural gas royalties lawsuit hinges on transaction date
- Lawmakers press Veterans Affairs for improved access to rural health care
- 2 W.Va. coal operators sentenced in scheme
- Supreme Court’s health care law ruling worries 34 states
- GOP senators pledge help if court bars health care law subsidies
- Cold, snow break February records in Northeast
- No signs of deal on Homeland funding
- Astronauts complete extensive cable job in spacewalks
- Deadly bacteria release spurs concern at Louisiana lab
- Dead dog found in pickup truck in icy river