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Updated: 09/10/2013 4:55 PM
Created: 09/10/2013 6:20 AM KSTP.com | Print |  Email
By: Scott Theisen

Docs: Judge Almost Shut Down Surveillance Program


Photo: MGN Online

Newly released documents show that a federal judge who oversaw a secret U.S. spy court almost shut down the government's domestic surveillance program after he "lost confidence" in officials' ability to operate it.
    
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton issued a blistering opinion in 2009 after discovering government officials had been accessing domestic phone records for nearly three years without "reasonable, articulate suspicion" that they were connected to terrorism.
    
Walton ordered the National Security Agency to conduct and "end-to-end" review of its processes and policies while also ordering closer monitoring of its activities.
    
Later in 2009, a Justice Department lawyer reported that, in some cases, it appeared the NSA was distributing the sensitive phone records by email to as many as 189 analysts, but only 53 were approved by the intelligence court to see them.
    
Walton's dissatisfaction with the Obama administration's handling of the surveillance program are contained in hundreds of pages of previously classified documents federal officials released Tuesday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 


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