WASHINGTON - US spy agencies plan to release newly declassified documents as early as this week about the National Security Agency surveillance programs revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden, and also material related to a secret intelligence court, a US intelligence official said on Tuesday.
The declassified documents were intended to provide the public more information about the programs as part of a commitment by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for greater transparency, the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The documents would also include information about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the official said. That court operates in secrecy in making decisions on government surveillance requests.
General Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, said he was glad the government was taking action to declassify more information.
"I think it is the right thing. I think it helps articulate what we are trying to do and why we are trying to do it," he told Reuters in Las Vegas where he is scheduled to speak at the Black Hat conference of cyber-security experts on Wednesday.
"I think the more we can give to the American people, the better. We always have to balance security of the nation with transparency. But in this case I think it is a good thing," Alexander said.