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Democratic, GOP senators seek inspector general review of NSA surveillance

A bipartisan group of senators is calling for the inspector general of the intelligence community to do a comprehensive review of spying by the National Security Agency.

Nine members of the Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Patrick Leahy and top Republican Charles Grassley, sent a letter Monday to the inspector general seeking a review of two programs collecting data on telephone and Internet usage. The programs were authorized under the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the USA Patriot Act.

The lawmakers want to know how information about Americans was collected, retained, analyzed and disseminated. Disclosures about the programs this summer raised questions about protection of privacy rights as the government argued they were necessary tools to fight terrorism.

The lawmakers asked what steps were taken to protect Americans' privacy.

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