U.S. intelligence officials say controversial government surveillance
programs have disrupted "dozens" of terrorist plots in the U.S. and more
than 20 countries around the world.
U.S. intelligence agencies released newly declassified documents
Saturday after lawmakers asked for more information about the
surveillance programs to show their effectiveness.
The reports said that of the hundreds of millions of records of U.S.
phone calls collected, only 300 were searched for additional information
about the callers in 2012.
They provided no other details on the plots thwarted or the countries
officials said they are working to declassify information on the dozens
of plots National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander said were
disrupted, to show Americans the value of the programs. But they want to
make sure they don't inadvertently reveal parts of the U.S.
counterterrorism plans in the process.
The officials said both NSA programs are reviewed every 90 days by the
secret court authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Under the program, the data, showing things like time and length of
calls, can only be examined for suspected connections to terrorism.
They also said that all data gathered is destroyed every five years.