NSA director calls on Congress to renew intel licenses in light of cyberattacks


National Security Agency (NSA) director Paul Nakasone has said that intelligence authorities up for renewal this year have played a key role in the fight against cyberattacks.

According to Cyberscoop, Nakasone’s remarks were made at a virtual meeting of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

They, the publication noted, offered a preview of what is expected to be an ‘intense political fight’ later this year to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is a low that provides US intelligence agencies wide-ranging authorities to conduct surveillance of foreign persons located abroad.

Section 702 will expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts on this, and on Thursday Nakasone made the case that ‘the authority plays an outsized role in protecting our nation’.

He said, “We have saved lives because of 702. The law has been used to counter ransomware threats, including those against critical infrastructure and a foreign operation trying to steal sensitive U.S. military information.”

Following the recent 2022 midterm elections, the US House of Representatives was won by the Republican Party, which is now seeking to investigate federal government probes of former President Donald Trump and his associates.

The renewal of Section 702, Cyberscoop claims, could emerge as a central flashpoint between the GOP and national security agencies.

NSA General Counsel April Doss and Mike Herrington, the FBI’s senior operations advisor for FISA Section 702 reauthorization, said in remarks at the recent event that the law is a key tool in combatting growing cyber threats but were vague on details regarding operations the law has enabled, instead offering to brief PCLOB members in a classified setting.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently fined Guaranty Trust Bank £7.8m for serious deficiencies in its AML systems and controls.

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