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Senator-elect Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is interviewed by a Reuters reporter at Sanders' office in Burlington, Vermont November 28, 2006. Sanders, a 16-year veteran of the House of Representatives who swept 65 percent of the vote in Vermont running as an inde

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had a productive holiday break, asking the National Security Agency if "the NSA spied, or is the NSA currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials?" The NSA responded:
“NSA’s authorities to collect signals intelligence data include procedures that protect the privacy of US persons. Such protections are built into and cut across the entire process. Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all US persons. NSA is fully committed to transparency with Congress. Our interaction with Congress has been extensive both before and since the media disclosures began last June.

“We are reviewing Senator Sanders’s letter now, and we will continue to work to ensure that all members of Congress, including Senator Sanders, have information about NSA’s mission, authorities, and programs to fully inform the discharge of their duties.”

In other words, yes, they are treating members of Congress like every other American, and thus are collecting mass data from them along with everyone else, though apparently they're working on a more complete response. Given that the NSA has admitted to baldly lying to Congress, further clarification probably won't be too convincing.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:49 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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