Over the last few years we've learned the extent of US government spying on its own citizens and political figures. It's illegal without court approval except if the American happens to "incidentally" communicate with someone under surveillance.
Sharyl: In recent years, the NSA began storing those communications. For privacy reasons, U.S. citizens' names are supposed to be "masked" from those who see the intelligence, except under special conditions. But critics worry there could be political abuse. At this week's Senate hearing about a former Trump adviser's Russia contacts... Republican Chuck Grassley questioned ex-Obama officials James Clapper and Sally Yates.
Sen Grassley: Did either of you ever review classified documents in which Mr. Trump, his associates or members of Congress had been unmasked?
James Clapper: Yes.
Sen Grassley: You have? Can you give us details here in this.
James Clapper: No, I can't.
Sen Grassley: Ms. Yates, have you?
Sally Yates: Yes, I have and no, I can't give you details.
Intel officials say their activities aren't political. Republican Senator Rand Paul and former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, are among those who say they believe they were caught up in government surveillance.