12:00 GMT24 January 2020
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    At a press briefing on Monday, National Intelligence Director James Clapper stated that his intelligence network has no idea how many Americans are spied on by the National Security Agency (NSA).

    Congress is being pushed to approve giving the nationally-mandated Federal Bureau of Investigation access to NSA data, undermining the claim that the notorious surveillance agency is not targeting American citizens, but lawmakers seek an answer to a basic question before giving approval.

    Former CIA and and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden
    © AP Photo / CBS News, Chris Usher

    US Senators Ron Wyden (D-KS) and Mark Udall (D-CO) have, for four years, asked for data on how many Americans are under surveillance, to no avail, Defense One reports, but they will not relent. 

    Last Friday, the two made another effort in getting that information, sending a letter to Clapper requesting, at least, an estimate.

    “We are not asking you for an exact count. Today, our request is simply for a rough estimate,” the letter stated.

    In response, Clapper claimed that figuring out the numbers would further violate citizens rights to privacy, a practice that the spy chief appears to care about when it is expedient. 

    “We’re looking at several options right now, none of which are optimal,” Clapper stated at the briefing.  “Many people find that unsatisfactory, but that is a fact.”


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    Privacy, NSA, National Security Agency, Mark Udall, Ron Wyden, James Clapper
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