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Obama to tap US Navy admiral to head NSA

Updated: 2014-01-31 10:43
( Xinhua)

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama plans to tap Navy Vice Admiral Rogers to be the next director of the National Security Agency (NSA) which has stirred up huge controversy following Edward Snowden's leaks, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Thursday.

Rogers will be nominated to replace Army Gen. Keith Alexander as Commander of US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency.

"This is a critical time for the NSA, and Vice Adm. Rogers would bring extraordinary and unique qualifications to this position as the agency continues its vital mission and implements President Obama's reforms," said Hagel in a statement.

Hagel said he is confident that Rogers "has the wisdom to help balance the demands of security, privacy, and liberty in our digital age."

Alexander plans to retire in March. If confirmed, Rogers will take over the currently troubled agency as the Obama administration has vowed to take some measures to reform its secret surveillance programs.

Obama offered a series of changes to the NSA's controversial surveillance practices earlier this month, about seven months after leaks by Snowden sparked controversy and furor around the world. His outlined proposals including to pull back part of the NSA's bulk collection of US citizens' phone records.

But he also made it clear again that the NSA's surveillance practices remain critical tools for US anti-terrorism efforts in the post 9/11 era.

Moreover, part of the president's proposed reforms will require authorization by Congress. Thus it is not clear what measures will finally be taken into effect in the coming months.

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