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Nominee for NSA chief pledges transparency, protection of privacy

March 11, 2014 at 4:38 PM

WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) -- Vice Adm. Michael Rogers, President Obama's pick to head the National Security Agency, pledged to protect privacy rights and improve transparency.

If approved by the Senate, Rogers told a Senate Arms Service Committee hearing Tuesday he would be "ever-mindful" that the agency must work "in a manner that protects the civil liberties and privacy of our citizens," the Hill reported.

Rogers, who also would lead of the U.S. Cyber Command, said he would work to ensure NSA surveillance efforts are more transparent.

"I will be an active partner in implementing the changes directed by the president with respect to aspects of the National Security Agency mission and my intent is to be as transparent as possible in doing so, and in the broader execution of my duties, if confirmed," he said.

The NSA has come under sharp criticism following leaks by ex-contractor Edward Snowden about the operations, which NSA supporters say have damaged national security. Snowden, granted temporary asylum by Russia last year, revealed secrets about the NSA's massive Internet and cellphone monitoring programs.

Tuesday's hearing was Rogers' first public appearance since Obama nominated him in January.

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