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CNET Update: Questions persist about NSA surveillance

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CNET Update: Questions persist about NSA surveillance

2:50 /

Organizations request more transparency in the National Security Agency's data collection methods, Netflix plans to launch DreamWorks TV shows, and Instagram is rumored to be adding video.

The search for answers about NSA surveillance continues. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Questions continued to be raised over what authority the National Security Agency has for snooping in on domestic phone calls and other electronic communications. The demand for answers began after Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, leaked classified documents that accused the government of conducting broad surveillance on Americans. The Director of National Intelligence has not been clear on what legal authorization is required for the NSA to eavesdrop on phone calls. Meanwhile, USA Today published an interview with three former NSA members who were punished years ago for speaking out against the surveillance tactics of the NSA. These men backed up Snowden's claims and said he did the right thing by leaking the documents. And the Washington Post reported Sunday that the NSA has a program called NUCLEON. It intercepts telephone calls and routes the spoken words to a data base. Several internet companies including Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook want to clear their names and they're asking the US Government for permission to be more transparent in the info they're giving to the NSA. As of this report, the companies have only been able to share broad statistics that sum up all of the government requests they received for user data including those from local police agencies. In other news, MetroPCS customers are able to buy new phones that will work on T-Mobile's 4G network. Among the new phones is a T-Mobile version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 that runs on faster wireless speeds, but it's only for a few cities right now. T-Mobile bought MetroPCS and this is just the beginning of that migration. There's more kids' television programming coming to Netflix. The streaming video service announced that, by next year, it will have 300 hours of original show programming based on DreamWorks Animation franchises like Shrek. Any Skype user can now send a video message to someone who is offline. Members of Skype can record a three-minute long video message and share it with another user and the message will be waiting for them when they get back online just like leaving someone a voicemail message. This feature is available for desktop and mobile users and there's no limit to how many video messages you can send for free. This feature was first tested in February, but it's now for everyone. Facebook is having an event later this week on Thursday and TechCrunch reports it has a source saying this is about Instagram adding the ability to share videos. There's also been talk of Facebook launching an RSS reader, so stay tune for that. That's your tech news update. You can find more details on these stories at CNET.com/update and follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.
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