The director of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US has denied that his organisation is trying to take over online security for the country.
In March, the director of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) quit, saying his efforts were being sidelined as the NSA was making a play to take over all online security operations.
But lieutenant general Keith Alexander, director of the NSA and chief of the Central Security Service (CSS), denied any such power grab was going on. He told delegates at the RSA 2009 conference in San Francisco that cybersecurity was a team effort.
“We do not want to run cybersecurity for US government," he said. “We want to be here to provide technical support for the DHS so they can do their job. We need to dispel the rumours, it's not NSA and DHS; it's one team.”
Alexander also wanted to reassure people that the NSA was not spying on them.
“You get the impression it's civil liberties or cybersecurity; I think it should be both,” he said.
“Yes, we make mistakes and when we do we self report and present a solution.”
He joked that some people thought that the NSA collected and analysed every one of the 210 billion emails sent every day, saying that they would need a lot of Russell Crowe's beautiful minds for that.
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