NSA won't say whether it spies on Congress...
(By Conor Finnegan, CNN)
Congress is just like everyone else. That's the message the National Security Agency has for Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The independent senator from Vermont sent a letter to the agency Friday, asking whether it has or is "spying" on members of Congress and other elected American officials.
The NSA provided a preliminary response Saturday that said Congress has "the same privacy protections as all U.S. persons."
"NSA's authorities to collect signals intelligence data include procedures that protect the privacy of U.S. persons. Such protections are built into and cut across the entire process. Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all U.S. persons," said the agency in a statement obtained by CNN.
The response goes on to promise the agency will continue to work with Congress on the issues - without ever addressing the senator's real question.
Sanders defines "spying" in his letter as "gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or e-mails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business."
The NSA would say nothing more, except that it is further reviewing the letter.