U.S. spy chiefs face Congress amid spying rift with Europe
America's top intelligence chiefs were hauled up before a House committee Tuesday to explain their agencies' actions amid a series of reports about scope of the National Security Agency's surveillance activities.
"The rules and oversight that govern us ensure that we do what the American people want us to do which is to protect our nation's security and our peoples' civil liberties. So, I will repeat. We do not spy on anyone apart from valid foreign intelligence purposes and we only work within the law."
Clapper added that the U.S. did not indiscriminately spy on other nations and stressed other nations spy on U.S. officials as a matter of routine.
NSA Director General Keith Alexander defended his agency, telling the committee that the NSA's main focus was preventing attacks on Americans and allies, and that it operates under strict oversight.
Alexander also called European media reports that said the NSA collected data on tens of millions of phone calls in France, Spain and Italy "completely false."
"To be perfectly clear, this is not information that we collected on European citizens. It represents information that we and our NATO allies have collected in defense of our countries and in support of military operations."
The allegations of U.S. spying have forced the White House to promise reforms and even acknowledge that their intelligence gathering activities may have gone too far.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.
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