NBC News

According to a USA Today report, Democrat and Republican senators pressed federal intelligence officials Wednesday on the propriety of a controversial surveillance operation that collects the telephone records of millions of Americans, less than a week after the program narrowly survived a House vote on whether it should be shut down.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing represents yet another challenge to the government's surveillance activity since details about the programs were disclosed more than a month ago by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

"Is there any way to limit the collection of the data that would continue to minimize the threat?'' Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., asked representatives of the NSA, Justice Department and the Office of National Intelligence.

Intelligence officials, meanwhile, opened another defense of the telephone record collection program by declassifying documents that outline the legal restrictions on the phone collection operation and how it is monitored.

Read more at usatoday.com

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