NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the agency searches through emails and text messages into and out of the country sent to and from foreigners under surveillance by the government. But now officials admit the surveillance is much broader: it searches Americans’ communications without warrants for just mentions of the individuals under surveillance, whether or not the person being spied on has any direct contact. The cross-border surveillance was authorized by a 2008 law that required the “target” to be a foreigner abroad, but leaves vague what that means. The NSA said the spying is legal and limited.
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