Since 9/11, the Agency has been able to "spy" on electronic communications without the need for court-approved warrants. The group has a large complex in Utah that cost $2 billion and holds the data. In 2006 the New York Times revealed that the Bush administration was eavesdropping on the electronic communications of Americans without the warrants required by law.
The American Civil Liberties Union has created an infographic for mass distribution that shows some scary figures related to the U.S. National Security Agency.
Four years ago Congress authorized the electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists and foreign agents located outside the United States, with provisions that supporters said would adequately protect the privacy of Americans.
The only positive aspect of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was that the Congress imposed a four-year sunset provision on the powers it authorized. That sunset provision is set to expire and (surprise!) the Obama administration - just like it did for the Patriot Act - is demanding it be renewed as it is, without a single change or reform.