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US Surveillance Case : Criminal probe sought into intelligence leaks

Published on Jun 10, 2013 11:21 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The top US intelligence chief is seeking a criminal probe into bombshell leaks of US monitoring of Internet users and phone records, amid a furor over the secret programs' threat to privacy.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed on Saturday that US spy agencies use a system called "PRISM" to gather data trails left by targeted foreign citizens using the Internet outside the United States.

But in an interview with NBC News, portions of which aired on Sunday, he called the disclosures "literally gut-wrenching" and said they had caused "huge, grave damage" to US intelligence capabilities.

"The NSA has filed a crimes report on this already," Clapper told NBC, referring to the leaks to the Guardian and The Washington Post.

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