(AP File Photo)
(AP File Photo)

The nation's intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies want the NSA to be able to continue its surveillance of telephone records-- and they are making their case to an independent panel investigating the way the data is collected and used.

FOX News Radio's Steve Taylor reports from Washington D.C. as part of our ongoing series on national security:

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Securing America.

Lawyers for the NSA, the FBI and other agencies say the telephone and internet data gathered by the NSA reveals critically important information about terrorist behavior. Is the program a threat to Americans' privacy and freedom?

De: "The purpose of the program is purely for counter-terrorism purposes, so this data can't be used for other purposes."

The NSA's General Counsel, Rajesh De, speaking before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. That independent panel is evaluating the NSA program and may make a recommendation to Congress about whether or not the data collection should be curtailed.

In Washington, Steve Taylor, FOX News Radio.