WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert Mueller on Thursday defended a pair of controversial government surveillance programs, telling Congress that leaking information on them harms national security.
In his last appearance as FBI director before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller said that terrorists track leaked information “very, very closely” and that because of leaks “we lose our ability to get their communications” and “we are exceptionally vulnerable.”
Responding to questions by committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Mueller said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has approved the surveillance programs and they have been conducted in compliance with U.S. law and with oversight from Congress.
The revelation that the National Security Agency is collecting millions of U.S. phone records along with digital communications stored by nine major Internet companies has touched off a national debate over whether the Obama administration, in its efforts to thwart terrorism, has overstepped proper bounds by using intrusive surveillance methods.
Rep. John Conyers, the committee’s ranking Democrat, expressed concern that the two programs were too far-reaching.
Read More at OfficialWire . By Pete Yost.