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Documents detail sweeping NSA phone program

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Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 8:30 pm | Updated: 11:45 am, Wed Mar 19, 2014.

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.

A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine — one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance.

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