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NEW YORK – The government can easily see the content of Americans' Internet communication and web browsing activities, according to a report published today in The Guardian.
"The latest revelations make clear that the government's surveillance activities are far more extensive and intrusive than previously understood, and they underscore that the surveillance laws are in desperate need of reform," said American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today about NSA surveillance. "These documents also call into question the truth of some of the representations that intelligence officials have made to the public and Congress over the last two months. Intelligence officials have said repeatedly that NSA analysts do not have the ability to sift indiscriminately through Americans' sensitive information, but this new report suggests they do."
The revelations today come at a time when public opinion has begun to shift in favor of strengthening Americans' privacy rights and a growing bipartisan group in Congress works to rein in NSA surveillance of Americans' communications.
"The seemingly never-ending NSA disclosures show the frightening power the government has afforded itself without the knowledge of the American people," said Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel at the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office. "The recent Amash amendment vote shows that the public has had enough with the blanket, warrantless surveillance of its communications. Without significant reforms to these programs, the government is going to lose them."