Snowden: NSA collects mass data on New Zealanders

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Former National Security Agency systems analyst turned leaker Edward Snowden says the NSA is collecting mass surveillance data on New Zealanders through its XKeyscore program and has set up a facility in the South Pacific nation to tap into vast amounts of data.

Snowden talked via video link from Russia to hundreds of people at Auckland's Town Hall Monday night.

Shortly before he spoke, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key issued a statement saying New Zealand's spy agency has never undertaken mass surveillance of its own people. Key said he declassified previously secret documents that proved his point.

But Key declined to discuss the XKeyscore program.

Snowden said Key was carefully parsing his words, and that New Zealand agencies collect information for the NSA and then get access to it.

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