"The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials," The New York Times reported Thursday.
President Obama has canceled a one-on-one September summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House says.
It's the most dramatic effect so far on U.S.-Russian relations in the wake of Russia's decision to grant "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden temporary asylum while he tries to get safe haven in some third country.
"We don't have a domestic spying program," Obama said on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. "What we do have is some mechanisms that can track a phone number or an email address that is connected to a terrorist attack. ... That information is useful."
The Obama administration's weekend decision to close diplomatic posts from Central Asia through the Middle East and into North Africa has led to applause from "rattled lawmakers in both parties," The Washington Post writes.