National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith B. Alexander acknowledged Tuesday that a fact sheet on the agency’s Web site inaccurately described the extent to which the communications of U.S. citizens are protected from the spy agency’s collection of e-mail and other material from technology companies.
The agency removed the four-page document Tuesday after lawmakers raised concerns about its accuracy.
In a letter to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Alexander said he agreed that the fact sheet posted on the NSA Web site last week “could have more precisely described” the requirements governing the collection of e-mail and other Internet content from U.S. companies.
NSA spokeswoman Judith Emmel would not explicitly acknowledge that the fact sheet had been removed from the agency’s Web site. Instead, she referred to the text of a 2008 law that governs NSA surveillance programs.
“Given the intense interest from the media, the public, and Congress, we believe the precision of the source document (the statute) is the best possible representation of applicable authorities,” Emmel said in a prepared statement sent by e-mail to The Washington Post.