The US National Security Agency likely collects intelligence on congressional lawmakers and members of their staff, a Justice Department official admitted at a committee hearing on Tuesday. Deputy Attorney General James Cole of the US Department of Justice testified during a House Judiciary Committee hearing which was examining proposals to reform the NSA surveillance policies that have been revealed in an ongoing series of disclosures since June. Among the most damning revelations leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was the realization that the NSA indiscriminately forces companies to provide phone records belonging to millions of Americans. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA.) pressed Cole Tuesday on whether the NSA dragnet includes the number codes that pertain to congressional offices.
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