Less-than-impressive results, coupled with growing costs, had officials considering dropping a controversial program at the National Security Agency, officials are now saying.
Of course, the agency didn’t have a chance to decide whether it would stop monitoring and collecting phone records before whistleblower Edward Snowden decided to make international headlines by outing the agency and its program. Snowden, now, is seen as a hero by some and a disgrace by others, but the program he revealed was, reportedly, already under the spotlight. It was a program NSA officials were contemplating dropping as it was not netting the results the agency had been hoping for, The Washington Post reports in an Associated Press (AP) story.
A proposal to shelf the program had already been making its rounds at the agency but, when Snowden went public, it had yet to reach Gen. Keith Alexander. Alexander, at that time, was the NSA director. AP, in its story, said two former intelligence officials with the NSA stated it was doubtful Alexander would have approved the idea of scrapping the program.
Snowden’s leak set off fireworks across the globe and prompted the creation of a presidential task force to investigate. That task force concluded the agency’s actions went above and beyond the necessary means to protect citizens, International Business Times reported.
However, following the leak, NSA leaders continued to defend the program but, until now, never revealed the fact there had been internal talks of ending it.