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Travelers at Pearson International Airport in Toronto earlier this month. At an unnamed airport, Canada's spy agency tested a program that allowed them to track those who took advantage of free Wi-Fi. Aaron Harris /Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Aaron Harris /Reuters/Landov

Surveillance camera video of Aaron Alexis, a contractor who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. Alexis was one of thousands of individuals cleared by the firm known as USIS. HO/UPI/Landov hide caption

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President Obama speaks about the National Security Agency and intelligence agencies surveillance techniques during a speech Friday at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Nicolas Armer /DPA/LANDOV

On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Mara Liasson reports on the politics of the NSA debate

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The NSA used a program codenamed Dishfire to collect text messages worldwide that were then used to extract location and financial data, according to The Guardian. Here, women use their cellphones in Los Angeles earlier this month. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

The NSA can reportedly monitor what's going on with 100,000 computers around the world. Gregorio Borgia /AP hide caption

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Gregorio Borgia /AP

From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Carrie Johnson on the hearing about the NSA's surveillance programs

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FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 14, 2013. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Comey said he's "confused" by reports that characterize NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a "whistleblower" or a "hero." Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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Carolyn Kaster/AP