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6/30/2014
12:10 PM
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NSA Director Downplays Damage From Snowden Leaks

New NSA director tells The New York Times he'll have to be more open about agency's activities than his predecessors.

Admiral Michael Rogers, who three months ago replaced the retired General Keith Alexander as head of the National Security Agency (NSA), says it's impossible to prevent an insider attack at the agency from ever occurring again. But the fallout from the more than one million documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has not been devastating, Rogers told The New York Times in an interview.

Rodgers told the newspaper that terrorist groups have adjusted their communications operations to bypass the surveillance methods the Snowden documents revealed:

    "Am I ever going to sit here and say as the director that with 100 percent certainty no one can compromise our systems from the inside?" he asked. "Nope. Because I don’t believe that in the long run." …
    "You have not heard me as the director say, 'Oh, my God, the sky is falling.' I am trying to be very specific and very measured in my characterizations."

The key is for the agency to "ensure that the volume" of information leaked by Snowden can't be pilfered again, he said in the interview. Among other things, the agency since has instituted a two-man rule, where information systems professionals must provide codes to get access to sensitive information in NSA's systems.

Alexander, meanwhile, called Snowden's document leaks "the greatest damage to our combined nations' intelligence systems that we have ever suffered."

 

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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