NSA Chief: We Don’t Spy on Congress

But lawmakers' metadata could get scooped up

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National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander says his agency doesn’t directly spy on members of Congress.

Alexander’s denial came in the form of a two-page letter to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), according to USA Today. Sanders has been pressing the NSA chief for answers on the subject for weeks.

“Nothing NSA does can fairly be characterized as ‘spying on members of Congress or other American elected officials,'” Alexander wrote. The general’s letter was dated Friday and released Tuesday.

Sanders wasn’t satisfied with Alexander’s response, as it doesn’t rule out the possibility that lawmakers’ metadata could get swept up in broader surveillance scoops.

“The NSA is collecting enormous amounts of information,” said Sanders in a statement. “In my view, the information collected by the NSA has the potential to give an unscrupulous administration enormous power over elected officials.”

The NSA can request metadata — information such as a caller’s phone number and call history — when a phone number is “reasonably suspected” of being tied to a foreign terrorist group. However, privacy rights groups have argued the NSA’s powers to collect metadata have gone too far, as the agency has admitted it can look at data “two or three hops” from a number believed to be tied to a terrorist group.

[USA Today]

12 comments
TeriCrossChetwood
TeriCrossChetwood

Yeah, no "direct" spying on Congress. Nice save there, Alexander. Now what about average American citizens?


cdblnr
cdblnr

Obama's new name: Snoop Pig Obama.  When it comes to stealing your freedom this guy makes Bush seem like Mary Poppins.

Pope__Algore
Pope__Algore

NSA Chief: We don't spy on Congress


Barack Obama: I don't use the IRS to terrorize my political opponents


Hillary Clinton: What difference does it make anyway?!!


Chris Christie: Bridge? What bridge?

tyrone.m.jackson
tyrone.m.jackson

Given how James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, lied to Congress about the collection of bulk phone records by the National Security Agency, why would anyone believe Gen. Keith Alexander? Gen. Alexander, as a US Military Officer, swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution, which he has clearly violated. 


History will not be kind to either men.

dbf337
dbf337

You don"t suppose NSA had anything to do with the Governor Christy smear campaign, do yea. Oh I forgot they said "We don't do that sort'ta thing."

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

It isn't like there is much intelligent life in Congress.

StephenReal
StephenReal

It appears to me some people are begging for one serious beat down. If I should happen to run into any of my good friends from the NSA? They surely would expect a pop in the face with a strong open palm fist slap from me. Don't worry fellas after I break your jaw I'll pull you up off the ground.

jason024
jason024

@cdblnr Interesting b/c Bush actually LISTENED to conversations w/o warrants. Whereas Obama gathers metadata (NOT CONVERSATIONS).

Both are bad but your analogy is incorrect. 

jason024
jason024

@dbf337Your tinfoil hat needs adjusting....even Rush Limbaugh is criticizing the NJ Governor. If you think he is a liberal or pawn of Obama, I have some prime beachfront property to sell you in Kansas.

Pope__Algore
Pope__Algore

@dbf337 


Keep talking like that and Obama will send one of his drones to bomb you into the stone age. Or his IRS to audit you... one of the two things.