A Pledge for Transparency

Navy Vice Adm. Michael Rogers, who has been nominated to lead US Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, fielded plenty of questions from Senate legislators Tuesday over NSA’s collection of telephone metadata, as well as reports of Iranian cyber intrusions into Navy networks. Rogers said speed and access remain important variables in the now-revealed Section 215 metadata-tracking program. If changes are made to the program, Rogers said a process should be put in place to ensure NSA can still “query” needed data in a timely manner. However, he said it could be possible for a third party administer to retain the data if necessary. During questioning by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rogers said the NSA must become more transparent, and do a better job explaining just what the organization’s mission entails, as well as the threats it must respond to. As for reports of an Iranian intrusion into naval networks, Rogers, who currently serves as commander of US Fleet Cyber Command, said he directed a comprehensive operational response to the whole naval system, rather than just a tactical response. “I didn’t want to just remove the immediate threat,” Rogers said.