WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department has reined in
electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency after
finding the agency had improperly accessed American phone calls and
The problems were discovered during a review of the intelligence
activities, the Justice Department said in a statement Wednesday
The New York Times, which first reported the matter on its Web
site, said the NSA had been improperly intercepting communications
In its statement, the Justice Department said it has taken
"comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the
program into compliance."
The Justice Department did not elaborate on what problems it
Once corrective measures were taken, Attorney General Eric
Holder sought authorization for renewing the surveillance program,
Government officials have also briefed lawmakers on the issue.
Domestic eavesdropping has been a contentious issue since 2005,
when the Times revealed that for years following the Sept. 11,
2001, terrorist attacks, the NSA intercepted international phone
conversations and e-mails involving U.S. citizens without a
That program ended in 2007, and the following year Congress
passed legislation requiring the NSA to get court approval to
monitor the purely domestic communications of Americans who came
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