Head of National Security Agency Defends Use of Facial Recognition Technology on Americans

NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers listens at a Reuters CyberSecurity Summit in Washington, on May 12, 2014. (Reuters/Larry Downing)
NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers listens at a Reuters CyberSecurity Summit in Washington, on May 12, 2014. (Reuters/Larry Downing)

Adm. Michael Rogers, chief of the National Security Agency, defended his agents’ use of facial recognition technology and said that it wasn’t often that U.S. citizens were swept up in the data collection.

“We do not do this in some unilateral basis against U.S. citizens,” he said during a conference on cybersecurity in Washington, Bloomberg reported. “We have very specific restrictions when it comes to U.S. persons.”

For instance, the NSA doesn’t tap into databases for passports or vehicles, Adm. Rogers said, the International Business Times reported.

“In broad terms, we have to stop what we’re doing if we come to the realization that somebody we’re monitoring or tracking has a U.S. connection that we were unaware of,” he said, Bloomberg reported. “We have to assess the situation and if we think there is a legal basis for this, and we have to get the legal authority or justification.”

Adm. Rogers‘ statements came on the heels of a New York Times report that revealed the NSA had collected “millions of images per day” of people and faces.

Much of the agency’s spy program on U.S. citizens came to light via released documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

SOURCE: Cheryl K. Chumley 
The Washington Times

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