Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, told a Senate committee on Wednesday that the agency’s phone surveillance programs have helped foil “dozens” of terrorist plots in the United States.
Under questioning from Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), Alexander defended the program by which the NSA obtains phone records, which was formerly a secret surveillance program. It has come under intense scrutiny over the past week following a series of leaks detailing the NSA’s surveillance of phone records and online communications.
Alexander pledged that the NSA would be more transparent with the phone records program going forward. He said “dozens and dozens” of pieces of intelligence gathered by the NSA have been invaluable in disrupting or preventing terrorist events. The exact number, he said, is classified.
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