Many of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs collect vast amounts of data on Americans — data that is never used to combat the threat of terrorism, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.
Neema Singh Guliani, who works as legislative counsel for the ACLU, appeared on "The Brett Winterble Show" and spoke about the NSA's spying programs practices that have become public in recent years because of leaks and document dumps.
"I think falsely, sometimes people assume that more surveillance is going to make them safer," Guliani said. "And in fact, there have been past programs that collected large amounts of data that actually weren't effective at all — didn't stop terrorists, didn't identify terrorist suspects.
"The second thing that I think is really important to highlight is many of these NSA programs, we talked about them being about terrorism but that's actually not accurate. In reality, the government collects information about people who have nothing to do with terrorism.
"They're using the information from these warrantless collective programs for purposes that have nothing to do with national security."
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NSA leaker Edward Snowden in 2013 released thousands of classified documents to journalists pertaining to the agency's surveillance practices. Subsequent reports of the NSA's programs have since come out.
"I think that we need to sit down and Republicans and Democrats and the new administration and the public and talk about what are these programs are doing, how are they affecting Americans, and how can we address some of the abuses that have occurred because of them," Guliani said.
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