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CRS on the Legal Basis for Government Access to Phone Records

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  1. Libel and Privacy
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In a new report, the Congressional Research Service said that the National Security Agency’s gathering of tens of millions of telephone records raises difficult legal issues. In outlining the existing statutory provisions, CRS drew no conclusions, but it noted that existing statutes grant very fact specific authority, and the available information about the NSA program “is limited and in some instances inconsistent.” The report added, “It is possible that any information provided to the NSA from the telephone service providers was provided in response to a request for information, not founded on a statutory basis.” (5/18/06)