The top lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee on Sunday defended the secret data collection tactics of the United States, including the phone tapping of foreign allies, suggesting Europeans are probably doing the same type of monitoring of President Obama.
"They don't have necessarily the same type of oversight of their intelligence services that we do and their compartmentalization is much smaller than ours," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
Rogers pointed out that Obama's BlackBerry is encrypted, suggesting it's a defense against other countries that may be trying to monitoring his communications.
"I think they need to have a better oversight structure in Europe," Rogers said. "I think they would be enlightened to find out what their intelligence services may or may not be doing in the interests of their own national security."
Rogers downplayed diplomatic damage from the revelation that the United States has been tapping the phones of Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
Rogers suggested the tactics were needed to monitor allies who may be communicating with our enemies.
"Our intelligence services are designed to collect information that allow the United States to protect itself in all cases," Rogers said, adding that the information collected is being used to help keep Europe free of terrorism as well.
"It's a good thing," Rogers said. "It keeps the French safe, it keeps the U.S. safe, it keeps our European allies safe. And so this whole notion that we're going to go after each other on what is really legitimate protection of nation state interests, I think, is disingenuous, candidly."