Former FBI chief not really bothered by NSA data collection

Source: Dallas Morning News 

A former FBI director said Monday in Dallas that he isn’t troubled by the National Security Agency’s collection of private communications.

Louis Freeh was in town to give a luncheon speech at the Renaissance Hotel about limiting the size and scope of the federal government. During a question-and-answer session after his talk, Freeh said that he would be worried if the NSA monitored every text message, email and phone call.

But, Freeh said, “the practicality of it is they can’t do it. They won’t be able to do it.”

The data collected by the NSA could aid terrorism investigations after the fact, he said. But Freeh said that obtaining that information could mean that even average American citizens might have to sacrifice some of their privacy.

He said he tells his teenage sons, “If you send that text or email out, don’t have an expectation of privacy.”

Freeh, who served as FBI director from 1993 to 2001, also lamented current national leaders’ inability to strike a deal to raise the country’s borrowing limit. He said the Founding Fathers “would be shocked and abhorred about the notion that the U.S. is going to default on its full faith and credit.”

He said the federal government has grown too big and officials are too unwilling to admit mistakes.

“My Italian friends have been texting me all month to tell me they have a more functional government than we do here in the U.S.,” said Freeh, who also has Italian citizenship.

Freeh now runs the Philadelphia-based Freeh Group International. The firm has investigated the Penn State football scandal and the BP oil spill settlement, among others.

Freeh’s lecture was sponsored by the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis. It also touched on the need for self-reliance and the value of deciding education and police issues at a local level.