The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence holds a hearing Tuesday on the U.S. government’s recently disclosed surveillance programs.
A congressional source tells CNN’s Dana Bash that National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander is expected to reveal two terror plots that the agency will say were thwarted with the help of the recently disclosed secret surveillance programs.
Alexander is expected to make the announcement at the hearing. Last week, Alexander said that these programs helped foil dozens of terror plots – but he offered no specific details.
Still, there is a debate within the intelligence community about what can be revealed to prove these programs work versus what should stay classified for fear of burning sources and methods.
11:13 a.m ET – Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, ranking member on House Intelligence Committee, asked Alexander if he feels like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a rubber stamp in the sense that it approves all requests from the NSA to pursue investigations.
Alexander said he does not think the court acts in such a manner and praised the the federal judges on the court as “superb,” adding that they “go back and forth to make sure we do this exactly right.”
11:12 a.m. ET – New CNN/ORC Poll: Just over six in ten Americans say they believe that government is so large and powerful that it threatens the rights and freedoms of ordinary Americans.
11:10 a.m. ET – House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers asks if the NSA have the ability to “flip a switch” and listen to Americans’ phone calls or read emails
Alexander said they do not have the authority or technology to do that.
11:04 a.m. ET – Deputy Attorney General James Cole said that because of the leaks, the government runs the risk of losing its capability to operate the collection programs. He did not say why but said they won’t know for several months how the leaks affected the agency’s surveillance abilities.
10:57 a.m. ET – Alexander said the NSA does not unilaterally collect information from Internet companies under Section 702. The companies are compelled to provide that information by law, he said.
10:55 a.m. ET – NSA official says phone record data collected under Section 215 must be destroyed five years after acquired.
10:45 a.m. ET – Sean Joyce, deputy director of Federal Bureau of Investigation, said the surveillance programs–specifically the program that gathers intelligence from Internet companies–helped stop a plot to bomb the office of the Danish newspaper that came under heat for publishing a cartoon of Mohammed in 2006.
In the United States, the program also helped them thwart a plan to bomb the New York City subway system and a plan to bomb the New York Stock Exchange, he said.
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Check out live updates of the hearing at cnn.com