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The coalition included Twitter Inc., LinkedIn Corp., AOL Inc., Google Inc., Apple Inc., Yahoo Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Together, the group is immersed in the lives of just about everyone who uses the Internet or a computing device.
Alexander took pains to underscore that the NSA is not listening in on Americans' phone calls or reading their Internet messages without court approval. Currently, the NSA is monitoring about 200 phone numbers for FBI scrutiny, compared with about 300 for all of 2012, Alexander said.
The American people have been told that all of their phone records are relevant to counterterror investigations," Leahy said. "Now they are told that all Internet metadata is also relevant, and apparently fair game for the NSA to collect. This legal interpretation is extraordinary."
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