NSA chief to hackers: If you don't like what we do, change it
July 31st, 2013
05:45 PM ET

NSA chief to hackers: If you don't like what we do, change it

By Laurie Segall

National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander defended the U.S. government's controversial spying program to a group of hackers on Wednesday, urging them to join in.

"The whole reason I came here was to ask you to help make it better," Alexander said during his keynote address at the Black Hat cybersecurity convention in Las Vegas. "If you disagree with what we're doing, you should help make it better."

Alexander's comments come nearly two months after Edward Snowden, a former employee at a government contractor, leaked the NSA's sweeping system for monitoring emails, photos, search histories and other data from major American Internet companies. The program, known as "Prism," is aimed at gathering data on foreign intelligence targets.

Alexander outlined details of the Prism program, the terrorist threats thwarted because of it, and a look into the techniques the NSA uses to collect user data.

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  22. Rg

    Seriously I might show up at the next hacker convention and accidentally beat up a few of them badly

    August 1, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  23. hog

    they should just send in a team and nail snowden, case closed.

    August 1, 2013 at 7:53 am | Reply
    • USMC1369

      Gee hog, if I were you, I'd be ashamed to exhibit my ignorance here about Edward Snowden. You want the nail the man who took the lid off the garbage can, so to speak? This man did us all a great service and that's all there is to it!

      August 1, 2013 at 8:21 am | Reply
      • russell

        Its a shame ur a marine...this guy needs smoked. He is hiding in a enemy state after releasing info that harms the homeland and the troops. Your a joke....

        August 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • Armyfieldmedic

        Unlike our ignorant friend above who cannot spell "you're" but wants to insult people's intelligence (oh, the irony), I agree fully with you. The State needs to do it's due diligence and gather information. We ALL know (especially us military folks) that data collection agencies are abound and work in the dark. What most of us never suspected was the level of intrusion here domestically.

        August 2, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  24. Random

    Ive put enough hours into trying I might as well be considered an expert. What is it 400 hours? When you factor in the stuff I know is possible with nearly instant catastrophic effects, wmd in general , bio warfare, the only way to effectively stop it before it happens is what you are doing. Nothing else you do can be as effective, that is less intrusive.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Posted like a true, simple minded Tea Partier. Thank you, Random. How much did NSA do to stop crime here in America? Nothing, I bet!

      July 31, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Reply
      • Nathan G.

        It is not the NSA's job to stop crime here in America. Heck, if it had done anything then it would have proven it was misusing the data it collects. As for the data, there are a few things to note before you get up in arms about it – first of all, it is not your data. The phone companies own it; read your contract with them. Secondly, there is nothing in that data that is of any use to the NSA unless you have been in contact with terrorists or suspected terrorists. They don't care if you spend 20 hours a month calling 900 numbers; they only care about things related to national security. The suggestion that they are keeping an eye on you while you call your grandmother in Wisconsin or order things off the shopping channels is vain at best, and patently ludicrous throughout. They don't care, because they don't do law enforcement – they do national security *only*.

        August 1, 2013 at 2:06 am |
  25. Mark

    As might be expected, CNN gives in to the White House pressure and reports nothing about Obama pulling every Democrat away from the NSA hearings by calling a meeting and thereby putting an end to these hearings until Washington comes back from their summer vacation in September. CNN, corporate run, Washington owned mainstream media at it's finest. You talk about keeping the people informed. Well, how about backing up those words with not caving in and doing the reporting you're suppose to be doing. Or perhaps by doing so, you fear of being silenced under The Michael Hastings Act. Speaking of which, how about doing some relentless investigative journalism for a change and dig into that story. I will guarantee you, you'll be surprised at what you'll find. That is, of course, if you're able to survive to expose the truth behind it. CNN, a news station.....that's the funniest thing I've heard all day. DO YOUR JOB!

    July 31, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • Quinton

      Did you notice Mark, how the right-wing news media accredited the uptick in civilian deaths in Afghanistan on the IED's and the crossfire between the NATO forces and the Taliban? They never mentioned the simple fact that the majority of these deaths were caused by our deadly drones and Apache helicopters. Like you say Mark, the media needs to become far less right-wing and report the truth for a change!

      July 31, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
      • Mark

        I think it's time to put the right wing news (FOX) and the left (MSNBC) to bed, in the closet and leave them there. In regards to the right-wing, their party can do no wrong and the same is for the left. The problem we have here is that there isn't any middle, where journalists investigate and reporters report the facts and don't tip toe around them. What was once news has become, as someone put it, entertainment. Gone are the days of Cronkite reporting. As for the Drone War", I agree with what you had to say, but unfortunately, it goes much deeper. We don't hear about the war we have going on in Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere......which is pretty much everywhere in the world. There's no investigative reporting into what's going on except for Jeremy Scahill, but he's never invited to appear on a Sunday show on CNN or a Meet The Press because the corporations who own these stations don't allow it. Washington, if they haven't already, won't "give their approval" because if the majority of the people knew what was really going on, the backlash would be enormous. The government having a "hit list" on those "suspected" of being a so called terrorist, if when taking this "suspect" out it means killing innocent civilians, men, women and children, this government has no problem with that and if that also means the killing of our soldiers as "collateral damage", my guess is they have no problem with that either. They signed up to die and they did. We'll just call up some others to replace them. Do you think they care about them and their well being? Just look at how our vets are treated when they come home, especially the disabled veterans. My feeling today is that anyone who enlists or is thinking about enlisting should have a psychiatric exam because either they're crazy to begin with, or they simply enjoy the game of kill or be killed. Another words, they're suicidal. I have to tell you, I got so fed up with the mainstream media reporting garage, along with all the senseless and meaningless programs fed to us today, that I cancelled my TV subscription and now get my news from independent news sources on the web where real news is reported. Granted there's a lot of hogwash material out there, but that's what makes it fun. I've become my own investigative reporter digging through it all and separating fiction from fact. I pop on this CNN site just to see what they're reporting as the big headline. When more damaging evidence of Ed Snowden's information was coming out, other sites had it as their main headline. CNN, however, theirs was about the new Apple iPhone. I hope that makes everyone realize that we are in fact, watching news entertainment, brought to you by "Washington! We look after you so you don't have to and where everything is under control........even you."

        July 31, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
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