NSA

Senate Intelligence Committee Looking to Reform NSA Surveillance Practices

Even supporters, apparently

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Federal lawmakers began debating Thursday not whether—but how—the government's disputed surveillance authority should be changed after a series of unauthorized disclosures by a former National Security Agency contractor raised serious questions about intelligence programs, including the collection of millions of Americans' phone records.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., opening a new round of public hearings on the matter, said that while she believed the programs are "lawful and effective" she was nevertheless preparing a legislative proposal that would limit access to the NSA's massive phone record database and likely cut the time that the records could be stored, which now stands at five years.

"It is up to you to lay out the case and set the record straight," Feinstein said, referring to top intelligence officials who testified Thursday in defense of the government's operations.