Intelligence Chief Blasts Leaks About Internet Surveillance & Phone Records

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Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. (CBS)

Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. (CBS)

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS/AP) — The director of national intelligence is trying to set the record straight after leaked documents revealed information about two top-secret intelligence-gathering programs.

James Clapper said Thursday night that the disclosure of an Internet surveillance program is “reprehensible” and a document leak about a phone records program could cause long-lasting and irreversible harm to the nation’s ability to respond to threats.

Clapper said news articles about the programs contained inaccuracies and omitted key information. He’s declassifying some details about the authority used in the phone records program because he said Americans must know the program’s limits.

Those details include that a special court reviews the program every 90 days. He said the court prohibits the government from indiscriminately sifting through phone data and queries are only allowed when facts support reasonable suspicion.

(Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)

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