Jun 8, 2013 11:30 PM by Tony Spehar

Intelligence chief defends Internet spying program

WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's top intelligence official is stressing that a previously undisclosed program for tapping into Internet usage is authorized by Congress, falls under strict supervision of a secret court and cannot intentionally target a U.S. citizen.

For the second time in three days, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper decried recent leaks of classified material and took the rare step of declassifying some details of an intelligence program to respond to media reports about counterterrorism techniques employed by the government.

Clapper said the data collection program is obtained with approval of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court and with the knowledge of Internet service providers. He emphasized that the government does not act unilaterally to obtain that data from the servers of those providers.

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