A published report says the U.S. National Security Agency has conducted broader surveillance of e-mails and telephone conversations without court orders than the Bush administration has admitted.
The New York Times reports Saturday that current and former government officials told the newspaper the NSA accessed domestic and international communications with help from telecommunication companies.
The newspaper says companies have been storing information on calling patterns since the September 11, 2001 attacks, and that NSA officials have been studying the information in hope of finding terrorists.
The Bush administration has been under increased scrutiny for authorizing without court orders the surveillance of what the government says is only international calls and e-mails to and from the United States.
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez has defended the practice, calling it an improved method of tracking suspected terrorists.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, and Reuters.