POLITICS

U.S. Secretly Tracked Billions Of Calls For Decades: Report

The seal of the Drug Enforcement Administration is seen on a lectern before the start of a press conference at DEA Headquarte
The seal of the Drug Enforcement Administration is seen on a lectern before the start of a press conference at DEA Headquarters on June 26, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government started keeping secret records of Americans' international telephone calls nearly a decade before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, harvesting billions of calls in a program that provided a blueprint for the far broader National Security Agency surveillance that followed.

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