tv National Security Agency Priorities CSPAN October 7, 2014 11:05pm-11:22pm EDT
that because if journalists hadn't been doing that kind of work, we wouldn't know about it. these are disclosures that are important for the public to know about. there t is imperative do this kind of work because, we spoke earlier about how many different media outlets there are. and for some degree they all cover the same story everyday. for things that are exclusive and distinctive are that much more important because it is what you have that nobody else has. there is no bet are way to set yourselves apart and as someone that breaks news that readers and editors can't get from any other source. >> this was a great conversation. i want to thank each of you, steve, dean and brian for joining us. and thank you to the audience for coming. we will take a short break. but at 2:00, we have the news maker with dnc chair debbie wasserman schultz. thank you. >> thank you. [ applause ]
♪ ♪ c-span's 2015 student cam competition is under way. this nationwide competition will award 150 prizes totaling $100,000. create a 5 to 7 minute documentary entitled "the three branches and you." video needs to include c-span programming, show var rig points of view and submit by january 20, 2015. go student cam.org for more information. grab a camera and get started today. now national security agency director michael rogers talks about the nsa's mission and efforts to create transparency. he spoke at the intelligence and national security alliance in august.
it is 50 minutes. well, good evening. can you hear me in the back? can you hear me in the back in excellent. first and foremost, thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to spend time together this evening. to be honest, i was somewhat shocked. when i was asked to do this, i said, you want to do an event in d.c. in the middle of august? i didn't think there would be very many people here. thank you for taking time-out of your busy lives to spend time. i'm grateful because tonight i'm here for several reasons. first and foremost, many of you have heard me previously talk about this as director of national security agency. as commander of united states cyber command. i'm a firm plefer that public dialogue and public transparency
is a public part and an execution of today and in the future. we have to be willing to have a public dialogue. so when i with a is asked if i would be willing to do this, i said no restrictions on media. we will do this. rogers has go in on this with his eyes open. that's important. because there's no doubt that one of my primary missions is to represent the hardworking men and women of that organization and help the american public understand, who are they, what do they do and why do they do it? because quite frankly we haven't had much discussion about that. now the national security agency in simple terms is tasked to defend the nation and its allies, to comply with the rule of law, and ensure we always remain accountable to the american people. that is what we are about. defending the nation and our allies. following the rule of law.
and always remembering that we reaccountable for the citizens that we defend. much debate about areas highlighted about what nsa can do. what we haven't talked about is the context in which those capabilities are. the policy and legal mechanisms put in plis place to ensure those capabilities are not put in place to be misused against those that we defend. what leads us to believe that things that the nsa does are in the interest of the nation and our allies. i took this job in no small part because i believe in the national security agency and i believe in its mission. it doesn't mean we're perfect. you will not hear me say that. what we are, is for the rule of law, we will be held accountable. when we make mistakes, we will
stand up. perhaps more importantly, broader set of external compliance teammates, whether that be the congress or courts, whether that be the department of justice or teammates in the b & i. when we make a mistake, we will acknowledge it. and in fact, much of what you have read has flowed from nsa self reporting where we have made mistakes and not properly follow had our own procedures. you have seen multiple public reviews of what nsa does, for example, in compliance with act 5702 in the 15 section of the fisa. and said hay, nsa is complying with the law and nsa has a robust of mechanisms and that we
abuse the information that we protect and appropriately protect, doesn't mean we're perfect. but i'm very proud of what we put in place. in no small part because we have learned from our past mistakes. we implemented a pretty expensive compliance organization back in the contrary because we realize we have to do things different. my predecessor's idea of compliance and oversight. to do our mission we have to do that. there's much debate and a good one for us a as nation to talk about what is the right balance between the need to ensure our security and the need to ensure the recognition of the rights of every one of our citizens. and it's not either or. we have to address both very
valid concerns. the harder challenge to me in some ways is what is the right balance between secrecy and transparency. and that's challenge for me as a professional. if i'm honest, i submit my whole life thinking about how to protect sources and methods. how to ensure that what we do is not to grow compromise. i realize as that an intelligence leader under the 21st century, rogers, you got to be willing to talk to a broader set of people and you've got to be willing to talk at least in broad determines about what we do and why we do it. and i'm very comfortable with what nsa does and why it does it. because i believe we defend the nation and its jl eyes and follow the rule of law and always remember that we remain accountable to the american people. that accountable comes in many forms. whether the congress that executes oversight of our
functions, whether it's the courts that grants us the authority in many cases do what we do. o we have to make a case in many cases for a federal court and get permission to do what we do. nobody writes us a blank check. we are given permission for a finite purpose for finite period of time. if we want to continue beyond that period of time, we have to go back to court and make that case again. when we make mistakes, we have to make sure we report to the court if we have failed in our compliance responsibility. the other challenge i have, as i tell nsa as new director, we cannot be trapped by the past. we have to learn from the past and drive. we have a mission that nation depends on. in almost every major operation that i can think of that we as a nation have done in the course of the last year for example, nsa and many other elements of
the intelligence community have played a major role in our ability do that p. that is a good thing for the citizens of this country and a good for our allies. and don't ever forget, we are not loin about supporting the united states. we are also about supporting our allies. i spent a good deal as director as does the d and i and remember what brought us together in the first place. my challenge is how do i make sure that an essay remains effective in executing its mission. how i do make sure that we're positioned as the world around us is changing. to make sure we maintain rel vns and capability and obey the rule of law and we are accountable to the citizens of the nation we defend. and what are we doing now that
if we don't do in five to ten years that we will be in real trouble. another area i would give alexander great remarks then, is i was impressed during my early time as direct popper i remember talking to him about and him telling me, what are some investments that we need to make now that need won't be a factor for five to ten years. whoever comes behind me will have challenges. that is hard. and hard do it in an environment in which a budget pressure is increasing, not decreasing. we have enjoyed relatively study courses over the next decade. we have found ourselves in it as a nation and in the two wars with he have fought and in which many, many of our country mep have made the ultimate sacrifice and came back from that mundmentally changed. they sacrificed their lives in many cases and become different
individuals. i think about them all the time. as we move into the future, i'm constantly thinking know self, what do we need to make sure we remain relevant to the men and women deployed around the world. what are they wearing in a uniform or in an embassy somewhere or just like average citizens traveling the world who sometimes find theirselves and we are here to make a difference in all of these scenarios. there is nothing to apologize for. when we do it, we obey the rule of law aep we are accountable to the citizens of this nation. and every review we've had to date has come back and said, hey, look, you can argue is the law correct? you can argue, is the policy what we need to be doing? but nobody has come back and said, nsa failed to follow the law or nsa is failing it meet its obligations at ensuring that
we protect the information that we collect in the course of our doughty. again, it doesn't mean they're perfect. but i fundamentally plef in what we do tp i fund limt believe in how we do it and why we do it. if you are our current employee of nsa or you were where before, will you stand for a minute? i know there's somebody here. the reason i ask you to stand is roger gets all of the attention as director. but what matters to me is men and women like this. dedicated their adult lives in many cases. i just want to say thank you very, very much. [ applause ] >> now as i think to myself about how we build that few tour, partnerships are incredibly important to the future.
i have always agreed with general clapper. the future is about generations and maximizing partnership. i want to be very public in saying that he need the help and capability that many of you in this room and others around the world bring to bear. we can't do this alone. i wish i could tell you this is the 1960s and it is like the apollo space program. this is just not the scenario we find ourselves in in the 21st century. i don't see that changing. nsa needs good partners. before an intelligence commission to gain insights about the world around us, about nations who would like to get an advantage over us, but if they had the way, literally ef one of us would be dead. we don't think about that much
in the society we live in. think about what we take for granted. stable society in which the rule of law is respected. and the rights of individuals are codified in law. and our practice as a society. we've been pressed with that for 238 years. and we take it for granted. we go around the world today and it just flat out doesn't exist in many other places. and there are groups that individuals who if they had their way, the entire idea of the inherent right of the individual could make choices in their lives would not exist. there are groups and individuals who believe everything we stand for is a nation is diametrically posed to their view of the world. and the only way their view of the world can triumph is if we aren't here any more. i'm not someone who jumps up and down and says, see how terrible the world is. i am somewhat amazed at times by
some who act as we have no significant challenges up there. we have been fortunate as a nation that senince september o 2001, we have managed to force stall terrorists on u.s. soil. we have had some domestic issues. but we have been able to foil those external to the united states who attempt to recreate in some form the events of the 9/11 where we lost almost 3,000. people from around the world. not just the united states. but people from around the world where they pick a particular day to do business in an office building. but they went to work at the pentagon. on the wrong aircraft and almost 3,000 of them lost their lives.
the individuals who perpetrated that remain out there an like-minded individuals remain out there. we need to remember that. now, as i said, all about finding that balance. it is not either or. if the price of achieving our security is fundamentally becoming something we aren't. then they have won. and i have no desire to fundamentally capture the heart of what is america. and as the nsa director, i am always mindful of those right, and i'm mindful of what makes america, america. and i'm always mindful of the values of our allies and our partners. we aren't in this alone. as i said, i need your help. i need strong partners. the men and women of the national security agency need strong partners. and you got see some of them here with us tonight.