NSA Spying Branches Out

Domestic calls, email, financial transactions under scrutiny—all without a warrant
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2008 2:50 PM CDT
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden in a file photo dated Monday, Sept. 17, 2007. Wyden opposed a government wiretapping program. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Traditionally charged with foreign surveillance, the NSA has increasingly been analyzing data collected domestically, reports the Wall Street Journal—on a scale comparable to that of a Pentagon proposal Congress killed 5 years ago. "When it got taken apart, it didn't get thrown away," says a former government insider. The NSA can track email, Internet searches, calls, banking, and travel info, all without warrants.

One senator dismissed privacy concerns, saying there has been "ample opportunity for debate" behind closed doors, but others expressed concern about the NSA overstepping its bounds domestically. And though the NSA itself maintains its focus is still abroad, the lines blur in the digital arena.