NSA Director Says Leaker’s Wiretapping Ability Claims Are ‘False’

NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander (Credit: Wikipedia)

While speaking at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on enduring cybersecurity threats, National Security Agency (NSA) Director Gen. Keith Alexander called claims made by NSA leaker Edward Snowden about his personal wiretapping abilities at the Agency “false.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) asked directly, “I saw an interview in which Mr. Snowden claimed that due to his position at NSA he could tap into virtually any American’s phone call or e-mails. True or false?” Alexander responded unequivocally, “False, I know of no way to do that.”

Collins’ appeared to be referencing a statement made by Snowden in an interview where he claimed “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal e-mail.”

According to earlier reports, Snowden was essentially a contracted IT guy for the NSA rather than an intelligence officer.