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NSA violated court-ordered privacy standards for three years

The National Security Agency’s searches of a database containing the phone records of nearly all Americans violated privacy protections for three years by failing to meet a court-ordered standard, according to court documents released Tuesday.

The documents showed the violations continued until a judge ordered an overhaul of the program in 2009.

Since the breadth of the phone-records collection came to light through leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials have said that for all queries of the database, the NSA must show a “reasonable articulable suspicion” that the phone number being targeted is associated with a terrorist organization.

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