NSA chief says agency not collecting people’s visual images

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WASHINGTON – U.S. National Security Agency is not routinely collecting visual images of people U.S. or mining photographs taken for U.S. drivers’ licenses, spy agency said Tuesday.
Adm. Mike Rogers, who heads NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, acknowledged that agency used facial recognition but said aim was to deepen its knowledge of foreign intelligence targets and counterterrorrism targets.
However he gave no specifics.
Rogers insisted that agency was not collecting such images of U.S. , unless they were linked with an investigation of a foreign subject and then only after taking appropriate legal steps.
“We do not do this some unilateral basis against U.S.
“We just do not decide, ‘Hey, today I am going to go after Citizen X, Y or Z.
“ We do not do that, we cannot legally do that,’’ he stressed.
He said that some people thought the NSA was combing through databases of photographs for U.S. drivers licences but said that was not the case.
Rogers, who moved into the at NSA and Cyber Command two months ago, has emphasised the to better balance transparency about the government’s surveillance systems with privacy protections for U.S. .
He said he watched clips of Snowden’s recent interview with television and did not believe the contractor was working for a foreign intelligence agency spite of such suggestions by his predecessor, Keith Alexander, and U.S. lawmakers.
Rogers also warned against overhyping national security threats to justify expanding U.S. government powers.
“If we change who we are and what we believe and what we represent the name of security, they have won. I have always believed that,’’ the NSA chief said. (Reuters/NAN)