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NSA releases first statistics on surveillance sweep

The logo of the National Security Agency hangs at the Threat Operations Center in Fort Meade, Maryland on January 25, 2006The US National Security Agency released its first “transparency report” Friday, as part of an effort to quell the firestorm over reports of its massive data collection efforts. The NSA report said that in 2013, it obtained fewer than 2,000 orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The agency said it obtained just one order using Section 702 of the FISA intelligence law, which facilitates gathering foreign intelligence data on non-American people, groups or organizations outside the United States. The NSA said it made 178 applications under the law’s bulk collection or “business records” provision — which allows the agency to sweep up vast amounts of telephone metadata.

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