Lawmakers express concern over reach of surveillance programs

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON Several members of Congress say they want to take a look at potential ways to keep the U.S. safe from terror attacks without sacrificing privacy protections.

The criticism comes after revelations that the intelligence community has been engaging in wide-ranging data-collection on Americans.

Senate Intelligence Committee member Angus King says he's considering how Congress could limit the amount of data spy agencies are allowed to seize from telephone and Internet companies. The Independent from Maine says: "It's a little unsettling to have this massive data in the government's possession.".

Congressman Adam Schiff, a member of the House intelligence committee, says there's good reason that "there's very little trust in the government." The California Democratic adds: "We're our own worst enemy."

But a senior U.S. intelligence official says there are no plans to end the programs.

Asked why the government grabbed the records of just about everyone in America in the search for terrorists, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tells NBC News, "you have to start some place."

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