On their face, Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s secret mass electronic data surveillance system should have created a political firestorm for the Obama administration and Congress. Not only have PRISM and related programs been used to collect information about Americans with the cooperation of most major Internet and telephone companies, but when news of the program leaked, officials first insisted that the programs had only tangential domestic implications because they targeted foreigners outside the United States — reassurances that were quickly undone by further revelations. In other words, the government lied to the public and was caught.
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