Everything You Need to Know About NSA Snooping Scandal

Edward Snowden revealed as leaker, and more on the scandal.

Can They Hear Me Now? - The disclosure that the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have been collecting from Verizon and other telecommunications firms Internet and telephone data records for hundreds of millions of users in the U.S. and overseas has angered Americans and the nation's foreign allies. Many people say the policy reeks of government overreach, which has forced President Obama to revise it. Here's everything you need to know, from how it started to what's new. ? Joyce Jones (@BETpolitichick)   (Photo: AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh, File)

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Can They Hear Me Now? - The disclosure that the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have been collecting from Verizon and other telecommunications firms Internet and telephone data records for hundreds of millions of users in the U.S. and overseas has angered Americans and the nation's foreign allies. Many people say the policy reeks of government overreach, which has forced President Obama to revise it. Here's everything you need to know, from how it started to what's new. — Joyce Jones (@BETpolitichick)  (Photo: AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh, File)

A Necessary Evil - "The reforms I'm proposing today should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, even as our intelligence and law enforcement agencies maintain the tools they need to keep us safe," Obama said during the 45-minute speech.  (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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A Necessary Evil - "The reforms I'm proposing today should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, even as our intelligence and law enforcement agencies maintain the tools they need to keep us safe," Obama said during the 45-minute speech. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Watching Big Brother Watching You - In a major speech delivered on Jan. 17, Obama announced plans to limit NSA's data collection. He also said that he has approved a new presidential directive that "will strengthen executive branch oversight of our intelligence activities."  (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Watching Big Brother Watching You - In a major speech delivered on Jan. 17, Obama announced plans to limit NSA's data collection. He also said that he has approved a new presidential directive that "will strengthen executive branch oversight of our intelligence activities." (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Tighter Reins - The president has called for the intelligence community to "institute reforms that place additional restrictions on [the] government's ability to retain, search and use in criminal cases, communications between Americans and foreign citizens."  (Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

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Tighter Reins - The president has called for the intelligence community to "institute reforms that place additional restrictions on [the] government's ability to retain, search and use in criminal cases, communications between Americans and foreign citizens." (Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

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Housing Wanted - The NSA will no longer be able to store the phone data collected from millions of Americans, but the president did not say where the records will be stored. Phone companies have said they do not want to hold on to the data. (Photo:Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images)

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Two Degrees of Separation - The government will no longer access phone records of more than two people removed from an individual being monitored by officials, down from three people removed from an individual being investigated.(Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP Photo)

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Two Degrees of Separation - The government will no longer access phone records of more than two people removed from an individual being monitored by officials, down from three people removed from an individual being investigated.(Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP Photo)

Hands Off - The NSA and other intelligence agencies will no longer be allowed to spy on the leaders of ally nations. ?The leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to learn what they think about an issue, I will pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance,? said Obama.  (Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

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Hands Off - The NSA and other intelligence agencies will no longer be allowed to spy on the leaders of ally nations. “The leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to learn what they think about an issue, I will pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance,” said Obama. (Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

By Committee - The president has called on Congress to "authorize the establishment of a panel of advocates from outside the government to provide an independent voice in significant cases before the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court."   (Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

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By Committee - The president has called on Congress to "authorize the establishment of a panel of advocates from outside the government to provide an independent voice in significant cases before the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court." (Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

Photo By Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images

Hold the Phone - Obama has ordered the NSA to get court approval before looking at the database of telephone records collected. In addition, he has ordered the attorney general to "review for the purpose of declassifications any future opinions of the [Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court] with broad privacy implications and to report to the president and Congress on these efforts."   (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Hold the Phone - Obama has ordered the NSA to get court approval before looking at the database of telephone records collected. In addition, he has ordered the attorney general to "review for the purpose of declassifications any future opinions of the [Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court] with broad privacy implications and to report to the president and Congress on these efforts."  (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

I Spy - In an interview with the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that agency employees like to pass around naked pictures of attractive people that they just happen to "stumble upon" during the course of their work. "These are seen as sort of the fringe benefits of a surveillance position," he said.   (Photo: AP Photo/The Guardian)

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Whistleblower Revealed - Edward Snowden outed himself in a video as the source who leaked classified information about NSA surveillance. He was a low-level employee working at the agency for contracting giant Booz Allen, before seeking asylum in Hong Kong. Snowden says he knows he'll be "made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end."(Photo: AP Photo/The Guardian)

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What Exactly Is Verizon Collecting?

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What Exactly Is Verizon Collecting? - Under a secret court order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Verizon collects metadata: incoming and outgoing phone numbers of a given call, where and when a call was made and how long it lasted and unique identifiers of the subscribers' phones, like SIM cards.  (Photo: AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

Who Approved the Order? - It was signed by a judge for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which operates in secrecy and reviews requests from intelligence agencies to conduct espionage, terrorism and national security investigations. (Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

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Who Approved the Order? - It was signed by a judge for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which operates in secrecy and reviews requests from intelligence agencies to conduct espionage, terrorism and national security investigations. (Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

I'm a Verizon Customer. Am I Being Bugged?   - The data does not include the content of the call.   (Photo: AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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I'm a Verizon Customer. Am I Being Bugged?   - The data does not include the content of the call.  (Photo: AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Photo By Photo: AP Photo/John Minchillo

Everyone's Got an Opinion - If the various writers of songs titled "Can You Hear Me Now" could get royalties each time the phrase has been applied to the National Security Agency spying controversy, it would be like winning the mega PowerBall. It's just one of the many responses to the surveillance program ? lawsuits, jokes tweets, polls ? and more. ?Joyce Jones(Photo: US Government)

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What's the Point? - Having such information can help alert the NSA to patterns that may indicate a potential threat to the nation's security or links to suspected terrorists.  (Photo: AP Photo/US Government)

What Happens to the Records?

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What Happens to the Records? - According to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the records go into a database and can't be accessed without "reasonable and articulable suspicion" of terrorist activity. (Photo: AP Photo)

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Bush Did it First - In 2006, USA Today reported that NSA was "secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth." But, back then it was done illegally, which President George W. Bush defended, saying it saved American lives.  (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Bush Did it First - In 2006, USA Today reported that NSA was "secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth." But, back then it was done illegally, which President George W. Bush defended, saying it saved American lives. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Are Verizon Customers the Only Ones Affected? - Under the order to collect phone data, Verizon is prohibited from even acknowledging it is collecting the data. So it is not publicly known whether other carriers are involved. (Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It Doesn't End There - According to a report from The Washington Post, NSA and the FBI are tapping into the servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. The agencies are "extracting" from overseas accounts "audio, video, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person?s movements and contacts over time." Code name: Prism.  (Photo: Patrick Lux/Getty Images)

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It Doesn't End There - According to a report from The Washington Post, NSA and the FBI are tapping into the servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. The agencies are "extracting" from overseas accounts "audio, video, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time." Code name: Prism. (Photo: Patrick Lux/Getty Images)

"Reprehensible" - James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, has denounced disclosure of the Internet surveillance program as "reprehensible" and said it could irreversibly harm the nation's ability to respond to threats.(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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"Reprehensible" - James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, has denounced disclosure of the Internet surveillance program as "reprehensible" and said it could irreversibly harm the nation's ability to respond to threats.(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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What Is the White House Saying? - "I came in with a healthy skepticism about these programs. My team evaluated them. We scrubbed them thoroughly. We actually expanded some of the oversight, increased some of the safeguards. But my assessment and my team's assessment was that they help us prevent terrorist attacks," President Obama said on June 7. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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What Does Congress Think? - ?I read intelligence carefully, and I know that people are trying to get to us. This is the reason why we keep [NSA] doing what it?s doing,? said Feinstein. ?It?s to ferret this out before it happens. It?s called protecting America.?   (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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What Does Congress Think? - “I read intelligence carefully, and I know that people are trying to get to us. This is the reason why we keep [NSA] doing what it’s doing,” said Feinstein. “It’s to ferret this out before it happens. It’s called protecting America.”  (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Do All Lawmakers Share That View? - Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Mark Udall (D-Colorado) do not. In a 2011 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, they said "most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted section 215 of the Patriot Act."   (Photos from left: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Hollywood Reporter, Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

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Do All Lawmakers Share That View? - Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Mark Udall (D-Colorado) do not. In a 2011 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, they said "most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted section 215 of the Patriot Act." (Photos from left: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Hollywood Reporter, Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

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The Gray Lady Seethes - The New York Times, in a scathing editorial, condemned the Obama administration for overreach in the name of national security, citing lack of accountability and transparency. "The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it," the editors wrote.(Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)