NSA Chief Keith Alexander Speaks About PRISM at Black Hat

General Keith Alexander, head of the U.S. National Security Agency, Wednesday provided additional details to support the contention that PRISM, the NSA’s controversial intelligence gathering program, was a vital tool in thwarting 54 terrorist attacks worldwide.

Speaking to a room full of hackers at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference here, Gen. Alexander defended the controversial program, which NSA uses to collect information about communications involving U.S. citizens from companies such as Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., and others. Gen. Alexander tried to dispel the notion that U.S. companies are providing unfettered access to customer data, and said only a limited number of NSA analysts are authorized to search phone metadata and email. He also noted the oversight involved from federal judges and Congress.

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