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Congress considers changes in domestic surveillance programs

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Updated: 7/31/2013 3:32 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC News) -- The Obama administration is exposing previously secret documents about the National Security Agency surveillance program capable of gathering the phone and email records of millions of Americans.

Among the pages released is the secret court order authorizing the nsa to collect data many Americans once thought of as private.

Top members of President Obama's security team faced tough questions during a Senate Judiciary hearing on the matter.

Senator Patrick Leahy showed deep skeptism about the programs, exposed by leaker Edward Snowden.

"We need straightforward answers. I'm concerned we're not getting them," Leahy said.

A 2011 report to Congress, also just released, indicates the agency can collect email addresses, telephone numbers, times and dates, "but not the content of the calls or e-mail messages themselves".

-- Danielle Leigh, NBC News, reports

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