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The Boston Globe

Politics

Debate rages over monitoring of phone records

Lawmakers divided over monitoring; Mass. members voice doubts on Obama

WASHINGTON — The disclosure of a top-secret order allowing the Obama administration to obtain phone records of millions of Americans reignited a national debate on Thursday about whether the White House is violating civil liberties, with Massachusetts lawmakers among the most vocal critics.

But the administration and several top US lawmakers defended the program as a vital and necessary tool in continuing to combat potential terrorists. Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the phone records had helped avert a domestic terrorist attack in recent years. Details remained classified.

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