Ellen Nakashima
Bangor Daily News
Sept. 26, 2013

The head of the National Security Agency delivered a vigorous defense Wednesday of his agency’s collection of Americans’ phone records for counterterrorism purposes, saying the program was helpful in investigations of the Boston Marathon bombing and the suspected plots against U.S. diplomatic outposts this summer.

“It provides us the speed and agility in crises, like the Boston Marathon tragedy in April and the threats this summer,” Gen. Keith Alexander said at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit, a gathering of business and government officials.

Alexander’s address follows calls by some leading lawmakers to end the program because of concerns that it invades Americans’ privacy without having proven its value as a counterterrorism tool.

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