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NSA Responds to EPIC's Petition Concerning Domestic Surveillance, EPIC Considers Next Steps

Two months after EPIC formally petitioned the National Security Agency to suspend the domestic surveillance program, the NSA has responded. In the petition, EPIC stated that "NSA's collection of domestic communications contravenes the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and violates several federal privacy laws, including the Privacy Act of 1974, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 as amended." EPIC further stated that NSA's domestic surveillance "substantively affects the public to a degree sufficient to implicate the policy interests" that require public comment. In response to EPIC, the NSA argued "any NSA activities involving the collection of communications that may meet the description set forth in your letter, if any, would not constitute Agency actions that are subject to notice-and-comment requirements . . ." The letter from the NSA Associate Director for Policy and Records also stated the "NSA operates in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of the United States." EPIC is considering subsequent legal action. For more information, see EPIC: NSA petition.

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