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NSA cannot collect content, only metada… oh, nevermind.

Washington Post:

President Obama said after the disclosures that NSA domestic activities “do not involve listening to people’s phone calls, do not involve reading the e-mails of U.S. citizens or U.S. residents, absent further action by a federal court, that is entirely consistent with what we would do, for example, in a criminal investigation.”

The new documents show that the NSA collects, processes, retains and disseminates the contents of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails under a wide range of circumstances . . .

“These documents confirm what we have feared all along, that the NSA believes it can collect Americans’ international communications with little, if any, restriction,” said Alex Abdo, a staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. “Its procedures allow it to target for surveillance essentially any foreigner located abroad — whether or not they’re suspected of any wrongdoing, let alone terrorism.”

Administration officials say the surveillance program does not target Americans anywhere without a warrant. Still, said Gregory Nojeim, senior counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, “there’s a lot of leeway to use ‘inadvertently’ acquired domestic communications,” for instance, for criminal inquiries.