Wrong public perception?
But legislators of both parties joined Mueller in defending the programs.
"This program does not target innocent Americans in any way, shape or form," said House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican. "These programs have helped keep America safe. They have enhanced our ability to go after terrorists who want to bring harm to the American people."
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said public perception of the government data mining was wrong.
One of the programs, under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, collects billions of phone records to create a database for use in tracking suspected terrorists. Another under Section 702 of the Patriot Act deals with computer activity and other information of foreigners.