August 22nd, 2013
01:39 PM ET

The NSA's Probably Looked at Your Stuff

Newly declassified secret court opinions reveal the real scope of government surveillance of Americans. And the Obama administration is once again under pressure from lawmakers because of it.

“The court that has to actually to approve this surveillance said it was fundamentally different than what they were led to believe,”  reports CNN's Chris Lawrence.

Just two weeks ago, the president insisted the government was not violating your privacy.

"America is not interested in spying on ordinary people," President Obama said. "Our intelligence is focused, above all, on finding information that's necessary to protect our people."

New documents now show the National Security Agency swept up thousands of e-mails from Americans with absolutely no ties to terrorism.

According to the paperwork, the NSA collected nearly 60 thousand domestic communications a year, for three years, until 2011.

“The data includes emails and other internet activity. The court also said the NSA misrepresented the scope of its effort.”

"It's very disturbing. The National Security Agency has extraordinary surveillance capabilities,” says Marc Rotenberg, the Executive Director of EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center)

“These tools that are supposed to be directed toward adversaries of US, not toward the American public."

“The NSA says it collected the data by mistake, a senior intelligence official telling reporters there was a ‘technological problem that could not be avoided, rather than any overreach,’”  Lawrence says.

“Meantime, intelligence officials are denying a media report that the NSA sifts through and has access to 75% of online communications in the U.S.”

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