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Approving NSA searches individually would overburden court, official says

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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 6:35 am

WASHINGTON — A senior government lawyer said Wednesday that the high volume of searches that the National Security Agency makes of a database that holds Americans’ and foreigners’ communications would make court approval for queries involving Americans impractical.

Appearing before the government’s civil liberties watchdog panel, Robert Litt, general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said “the number of times we query” the database for information “is considerably larger” than 288. That’s the number of queries made for a different type of data in a separate NSA program that Litt used as a comparison.

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