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NSA defends global cellphone tracking as legal

By Kimberly Dozier

AP Intelligence Writer

LAST UPDATED: 12:35 p.m. HST, Dec 06, 2013

WASHINGTON » The National Security Agency is defending its tracking of foreign cellphones overseas. It says the practice is legal under a U.S. presidential order governing all U.S. government spying.

The agency said today it isn't tracking every foreign phone and call, and that it takes measures to limit how much U.S. data is collected.

The Washington Post reported this week that the agency is gathering location data for up to 5 billion cellphones globally every day, including some American data, according to documents from former NSA contractor-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden.

Spokeswoman Vanee Vines says the practice is legal under a White House order that governs U.S. espionage, known as Executive Order 12333. She says NSA analysts must treat any U.S. citizens' data they accidentally gather differently.

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noheawilli wrote:
Cuz the President said so? Is this the same President that promised if we passed his medical plan nobody would loose their coverage? This should be an interesting explanation.
on December 6,2013 | 11:51AM
copperwire9 wrote:
Uh huh.
on December 6,2013 | 12:49PM
mitsuni wrote:
People act surprised that the US intelligence community tracks and monitors phone calls......been to any spy movies lately? Why is this news? As for those worried about the US spying on US citizens you need to read about our laws governing intelligence oversight, unless you are up to no good, you have nothing to worry about....that is unless your are paranoid or believe in zombies!
on December 6,2013 | 01:54PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
If we are legal private citizens of the United States of America we should retain our privacy. But if we are "legal" because of racial profiling, then we have another problem.
on December 6,2013 | 02:55PM
pcman wrote:
IRT mitsuni on zombies. The only Americans who should have concern are those who deal with terrorists overseas. If you are having an "affair" with a foreigner, you might want to check his or her background. Finally, don't piss off the president for any reason because he has no qualms about giving the NSA illegal orders to do what he wants.
on December 6,2013 | 03:35PM
pcman wrote:
IRT mitsuni on spying. I trust the NSA, but the president cannot be trusted to give the NSA legal orders all the time.
on December 6,2013 | 03:39PM
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