The Obama administration quietly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 for the National Security Agency to search deliberately for Americans' communications in its huge databases of intercepted phone calls and emails, according to a published report.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the ban on those kinds of searches, which the court imposed in 2008 at the government's request. The court also extended the length of time the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted communications from five to six years.
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