Pompeo tries to reassure Kansans on cyberspying

In this Dec. 8, 2005, file photo, a man walks out the Verizon's new corporate headquarters.The Obama administration on Thursday, June 6, 2013, defended the government's need to collect telephone records of American citizens, calling such information "a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats." Britain's Guardian newspaper reported that the NSA has been collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers under a top secret court order. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh, File)
In this Dec. 8, 2005, file photo, a man walks out the Verizon's new corporate headquarters.The Obama administration on Thursday, June 6, 2013, defended the government's need to collect telephone records of American citizens, calling such information "a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats." Britain's Guardian newspaper reported that the NSA has been collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers under a top secret court order. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh, File)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo is trying to quell fears back home about government electronic surveillance.

Pompeo is the newest Republican member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, which held a rare, open hearing Tuesday amid debate over national security and personal privacy.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Pompeo said conservatives have a long tradition of understanding the federal government’s primary mission to be ensuring the nation’s ability to defend itself. He wants to make sure the country does not lose the capability to do that.

He says the programs exposed by a contractor for National Security Agency have adequate oversight.

Pompeo says the Intelligence Committee is working to declassify as much as possible to show the programs are saving lives.

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