Ordinary Americans caught up in data sweep

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Post is reporting that when the National Security Agency intercepted the online accounts of legally targeted foreigners over a four-year period, it also collected the conversations of nine times as many ordinary Internet users, both Americans and non-Americans.

In a story posted Saturday on its website, the Post says nearly half of those surveillance files contained names, email addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents.

The newspaper reports that the intercepted messages brought in while targeting foreigners contained material of considerable intelligence value, such as information about a secret overseas nuclear project and the identities of aggressive intruders into U.S. computer networks.

The huge trove of intercepted documents was provided to the Post by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden.

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