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The head of the National Security Agency, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, has denied that the United States recorded emails and phone records from European citizens.
According to CNN, Alexander denied the reports based upon Edward Snowden leaks "completely false."
Alexander spoke to a House committee saying, "To be perfectly clear, this is not information that we collected on European citizens. It represents information that we, and our NATO allies, have collected in defense of our countries and in support of military operations."
The general also told the committee that the documents leaked were being misinterpreted by the media, such as Der Spiegel's claims that the U.S. was spying directly on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone calls.
The House committee is meeting to potentially alter the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act after also the accusations began to surface relating to the leaks from Snowden.
Alexander said that any information collected is from a combination of legal spying from the NSA and information provided by allies, CBS News reports.
White House spokesperson Jay Carney said, "We have important cooperative relationships with the security agencies and intelligence agencies of allied nations," when asked about a report from the Wall Street Journal that the information collected was actually from France and Spain.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, before the House committee, defended the spying by saying, "It is better for us to have a program and take a beating that have our country be attacked."
image: Wikimedia Commons