The Growing Divide Between Americans and Their NSA

Cold-war era intelligence agency now faces a 'totally different problem,' former spy chiefs say.

widemodern_nsaprotest_091913.jpg

The NSA is struggling to manage growing discontent over its surveillance practices and increasingly complex national security threats.

By + More

Hayden questions whether U.S. intelligence services will be able to conduct espionage in the future within a political culture that "every day demands more transparency and more public accountability from every aspect of national life."

NSA needs to be powerful and it needs to be secretive, Hayden says -- the two greatest sources of fear of government overreach.

"I do realize [NSA] won't be able to continue all the things it's doing today unless the American people get a certain comfort level," Hayden tells U.S. News. "The only way you can get a comfort level is to simply let the people know a bit more about what you're doing."

"That will hurt operationally, but it's a cost they're going to have to pay," he says.

More News:

  • NSA Practices 'Violate the Constitution,' Issa Says
  • Opinion: Sustainable Intelligence Oversight Needed
  • America's Top Spy Sees Silver Lining in Snowden Leaks