President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead top intelligence agencies described a tool used to surveil Americans without a warrant as vital at his confirmation hearing Wednesday.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh characterized Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a tool that has been abused to spy on Americans, as “extensively used” and “irreplaceable” in his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Biden nominated Haugh to head both Cyber Command and the National Security Agency (NSA) in May, according to Politico.
FBI Director Christopher Wray declined to answer direct questions from lawmakers on several hot-button issues at a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing.
The performance on Wednesday generated frustration on both sides of the political aisle, and a rebuke from FBI alumni.
The FBI on Wednesday finally broke its silence and responded to the revelations on Twitter of close ties between the bureau and the social media giant – ties that included efforts to suppress information and censor political speech.
“The correspondence between the FBI and Twitter show nothing more than examples of our traditional, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements, which involve numerous companies over multiple sectors and industries,” the bureau said in a statement. “As evidenced in the correspondence, the FBI provides critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers. The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.”