China and Russia are spying on the US at nearly cold war levels, the nation's top spy told lawmakers today. Vice Admiral McConnell defended the Patriot Act as necessary for US defense and asked Congress to give intelligence agencies even greater eavesdropping powers. His testimony comes weeks after an alleged strike by Chinese hackers on the Pentagon.
Some Dems are troubled by the latest version of the Patriot Act, which allows Feds to listen in on Americans who communicate with foreigners. But McConnell defended such spying as necessary to interrupt "sleeper cells," and added that agents can wait 200 hours to get a court order. The Patriot Act "is critical to protect the nation and preserve our security," he testified.