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06/06/2013 04:30 pm ET | Updated Jun 06, 2013

Glenn Greenwald: NSA Surveillance Is 'Indiscriminate' And 'Sweeping'

Glenn Greenwald spoke out on Thursday about his bombshell article about the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance in his first television interview since breaking the story.

The article, published Wednesday night, revealed that NSA has been indiscriminately collecting the phone records of millions of Verizon customers every day. Greenwald's piece unleashed a fresh wave of controversy for the White House.

On Thursday, the Guardian columnist stressed how vast the NSA's surveillance has been, saying, "What this court order does that makes it so striking is that it's not directed at any individual... it's collecting the phone records of every single customer of Verizon business and finding out every single call they've made... so it's indiscriminate and it's sweeping," he told CNN's Jake Tapper.

Greenwald pointed out that the Bush administration came under fire for similar domestic surveillance policies, and that many Americans had assumed that they expired when Obama took office. "And the problem is that this is all kept so completely secret," he said about the continuation of the program under Obama. He continued:

Why was this court order that we obtained marked top secret and closely guarded? It doesn't harm national security for us to know about it. We should have this debate in the open. Let the Obama administration talk about why they're collecting these records, whether it's part of a larger program. And then let's debate whether we, as a society want, to live with a government that knows everything that we're doing regardless of whether we've done anything wrong.

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