US senators demand to know from Clapper extent and benefits of spy program

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A group of 26 U.S. senators, cutting across party lines, are seeking “public answers” on whether the National Security Agency collected in bulk other data such as credit card purchases and financial information in the U.S. besides phone records.

The senators want the information for a public debate on the surveillance controversy, and have in a letter to Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, also asked for how long the NSA has used the Patriot Act to engage in bulk collection of records of people in the U.S., and whether the information includes cell-site location data.

The NSA has been allowed by a court order to collect phone metadata of a large number of customers of Verizon, according to a report in the Guardian last month. The information was said to have been leaked by a former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, who also passed on documents that suggested that the NSA had real-time access to the content on servers of Internet companies like Facebook and Google.

SOURCE: pcworld.com


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