Dem calls NSA ‘best hacker in the entire world’

The National Security Agency is the “best hacker in the entire world,” according to Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonFlorida's Darren Soto fends off Dem challenge from Alan Grayson Live results: Arizona and Florida hold primaries The Hill's Morning Report: Frustration mounts as Republicans blow up tax message MORE (D-Fla.), and Congress needs to do something to stop it.

“If the Chinese government had proposed to put in a backdoor into our computers and then paid a company $10 million to make that the standard, we’d be furious,” he said in a pre-recorded statement delivered at a panel discussion on Monday.

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“That’s exactly what the NSA’s become: the best hacker in the entire world,” he said.

Last year, documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed that the spy agency entered into a $10 million contract with computer security firm RSA to create flaws in its encryption that would serve as a “backdoor” for NSA agents to sneak into some products. The news rattled the cybsersecurity sector and sparked fears that the agency was deliberately undermining security across the Internet.

In June, the House approved a measure backed by Grayson to prevent that kind of move by banning the NSA from undermining cyber encryption standards developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“These are the first steps that we’re taking to take back our privacy, take back our own security, take back our freedom, and I welcome your help in doing that,” he said. “It’s one of the greatest endeavors of modern life to make sure that we can protect modern life from the encroachments of Big Brother.”

The firebrand liberal was joined at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute panel by Rep. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers House punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate MORE (D-Calif.), another critic of the spy agency who pushed for Congress to prevent “backdoor” searches on Americans without a warrant in pre-recorded remarks of her own.

“We need to continue pushing to protect private information and data security and we need the senate to follow suit,” she said.

Lofgren and other lawmakers introduced a measure to the Defense spending bill last month to prevent the NSA from performing the warrantless searches, which passed with broad bipartisan support.