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.