NSA Director General Keith Alexander called on the media to "get the facts out there" to counteract the emotions connected to the nation's anti-terrorism surveillance efforts.
In a hallway interview after Alexander assured the Black Hat 2013 security conference that the NSA is acting lawfully, CNBC's Eamon Javers asked about hecklers at the event.
"This is an emotional issue where you can help. Let's get the facts out there... Just reporting what somebody says is not the right thing to do for our country. Our mission is to defend our nation. These are some of the tools that we have. Let's put the facts on the table."
Alexander also said NSA leaker Edward Snowden should face charges in the U.S. where he will get "justice" as determined by the judicial system.
Snowden left the Moscow airport Thursday after receiving temporary asylum in Russia.