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Court renews secret U.S. surveillance program

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Washington (CNN) -- A top-secret court has renewed the authority of U.S. national security officials to collect telephone data as part of a surveillance program that was exposed by intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it had decided to declassify and announce the program renewal, which occurs periodically but is never publicized.

Snowden leaked classified information about the program to media outlets last month and then fled the country. He has been charged with espionage.

His disclosure prompted outrage from civil libertarians, members of Congress and privacy groups concerned with the sweeping nature of the telephone surveillance and a companion effort that monitors e-mails.

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