My Dinner With NSA Director Keith Alexander

On July 30, 2013, I had the pleasure of having dinner with General Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency. Just a few weeks earlier, NYU Law Professor Christopher Sprigman and I had called the NSA’s activities “criminal” in the digital pages of the New York Times, so I thought it was particularly gracious of him to sit with me. General Alexander is an engaging man and our conversation left me with an appreciation for a fundamental difference in perspective between defenders and critics of the NSA’s surveillance program: whether you believe that unchecked power inevitably corrupts, or rather believe that the sincere intentions of well-meaning individuals will protect us.

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