NYPD Boss Weighs in On NSA Flap, Talks Oversight

NEW YORK (AP) -

Revelations about the National Security Agency’s once-secret surveillance program suggests that the agency needs to get better at safeguarding data, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Monday.

Kelly also told reporters that he believes most Americans are accepting of the fact that the government collects data on phone calls and internet usage, but they deserved to know it was happening.

“I don’t think it ever should have been made secret,” he said.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked details about the program, has claimed that from his desk he could “wiretap” any phone call or email — something top intelligence officials have denied.

“I think if you listen to Snowden,” Kelly said, “he indicates that there’s some sort of malfeasance, people sort of sitting around and watching the data. I think it’s a problem if that’s in fact what’s happening. … If in fact they can rummage through this type of material without authorization … I think it’s something that has to be looked at.”

U.S. officials say the data-gathering programs are legal and are operated under secret court supervision.