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US challenges ruling on 'Orwellian' NSA snooping

Published on Jan 4, 2014 6:54 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States (US) government said on Friday it has lodged an appeal against a judge's ruling that the National Security Agency's (NSA) "almost Orwellian" bulk collection of telephone records is illegal.

Separately, spy chief James Clapper revealed that a secret court had renewed the NSA's authority to gather call "metadata", despite the controversy triggered when the program came to light.

Last year, leaked files from fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA habitually scoops up data on the timing and destination of calls by millions of US phone users.

President Barack Obama's administration has defended the practice, arguing that it helps agents "join the dots" between terror suspects and their contacts.

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