"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper during the March 12 hearing.
In response, Clapper replied quickly: "No, sir."
Read more at The Hill:
"There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect [intelligence on Americans], but not wittingly," the U.S. intelligence chief told Wyden and the rest of the committee.
That said, "particularly in the case of NSA and CIA, there are structures against tracking American citizens in the United States for foreign intelligence purposes," Clapper added.
Both agencies are focused on foreign intelligence collection, "and that's what those agencies are set up to do," he added.
Conducting surveillance on Americans inside U.S. borders is something "they do not engage in," the intelligence chief added.
Director of National Intelligence Tells Congress the NSA Isn't Spying Domestically
NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers dailyExclusive: Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama
"The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.Read More at the Guardian:
The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19."
Obama Administration's NSA Phone Record Sweep
President Obama’s Dragnet
Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.Read more at the NYTimes:
Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it
President Obama’s Dragnet