National Security Agency director General Keith Alexander defended the controversial programs disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and said Thursday his agency was taking steps to prevent future leaks by working to reducing the number of system administrators—the same position Snowden held—by 90 percent.
He also said the surveillance programs had been “grossly mischaracterized by the press,” while staring directly at media assembled at Fordham University for a keynote panel featuring the NSA chief, CIA director John Brennan and FBI director Robert Mueller on the final day of the International Conference on Cyber Security.
“No one has knowingly or willfully disobeyed the law or tried to invade your civil liberties or privacies,” he added.
Alexander said the agency was transitioning to a cloud structure that would rely on machines instead of people to transfer secure data.
Calling data “secure” doesn’t mean it actually is, or will remain so. While machines are more than likely preferable to human subcontractors (like Snowden) they are obviously not without some security risks. They may not go to Russia but Russia may one day be able to come to them.
Bonus points for the laughs from the “mischaracterized by the press” line.