Tags: National security agency | ISIS | cybersecurity | Snowden

NSA Director Says Snowden Hasn't Hurt Agency's Work

Image: NSA Director Says Snowden Hasn't Hurt Agency's Work
Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency (NSA). (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 09:55 AM

Edward Snowden's leaks of highly classified information about U.S. surveillance programs domestically and abroad have not compromised America’s relationships with foreign allies or caused the agency to be eschewed by the technology industry, the National Security Agency's director said Tuesday, DefenseOne reports.

“I fundamentally reject the premise of the question that says the NSA is no longer in a position where it has a relationship with foreign counterparts or with the corporate sector, or that foreign counterparts have walked away from the NSA,” Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the NSA and commander of U.S. Cyber Command said Tuesday at the Billington Cyber Security Summit in Washington, according to DefenseOne.

“That’s not what I’ve observed in my five months as director.”

Rogers’ remarks were surprising considering revelations last year by Snowden, a NSA contractor, that the U.S. monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone followed by the expulsion of two CIA officials stationed in Germany after being accused of spying.

Instead, Rogers said the agency is focusing on terror groups, including the Islamic State (ISIS), which has been “aggressive” in using the media and Internet to launch attacks.

Rogers would not comment on a question about a purported “digital caliphate” in the works, according U.S. News & World Report.

“We need to assume there is a cyber dimension in every area we deal with,” Rogers said. “Counterterrorism is no different.”

The well-funded ISIS is unlike most other terror groups attempting to hack into U.S. and other Western networks, according to U.S. News, because most terrorists lack the resources to be effective.

Russia and China, which have state-sponsored hackers, are an ongoing concern since their hackers’ goals are to steal trade secrets. China successfully got its hands on U.S. military technology and drones, U.S. News reports. Iran is also becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Monitoring domestic data and forming alliances with businesses to get them to report data breaches more expeditiously are also key to preventing large-scale attacks, Rogers said, DefenseOne reports.

“I’m a big advocate that we need cybersharing legislation,” he said. “When I see the level of [cyber threat] activity out there, versus what’s being shared with us. I see a huge delta … there are clearly huge liability concerns. They’re working on that on the Hill.”

It’s a delicate balance, according to Rogers, to gain both companies’ and the American public’s trust that the information shared and gleaned will not be misused. He wants to assure people that Cyber Command and the NSA use rigorous discretion.

“We follow the rule of law,” he said. “When we make a mistake, we stand up and say we got it wrong.”

Anyone who knowingly breaks privacy laws will be punished, Rogers said.

“There is no place in this workforce for those of that ilk,” he said.


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Edward Snowden's leaks of highly classified information about U.S. spy programs at home and abroad have not compromised America's relationships with foreign allies or the technology industry, the National Security Agency's director said.
National security agency, ISIS, cybersecurity, Snowden
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2014-55-17
Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 09:55 AM
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