One House Democrat has told the head of the FBI that the nation may be "on the verge of becoming a surveillance state."

FBI Director Robert Mueller (Getty Images)


Robert Mueller -- in his last appearance as FBI director before the House Judiciary Committee -- was questioned about the surveillance programs targeting millions of phone records of Americans and the Internet use of foreigners using U.S. Internet companies. He defended the programs, and warned that the leaks that disclosed their existence will hurt national security.

But Democrat John Conyers of Michigan said the two programs were too far-reaching.

The revelation that the National Security Agency is collecting millions of U.S. phone records along with digital communications stored by nine major Internet companies has touched off a national debate over whether the Obama administration, in its efforts to thwart terrorism, has overstepped proper bounds by using intrusive surveillance methods.


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