ACLU warns NYC judge on NSA surveillance

NEW YORK (AP) -- A civil liberties lawyer is warning that the NSA's phone-tracking program shows the government believes it can collect all kinds of personal data.

Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties told a Manhattan judge on Friday that if the government has its way, it could go after financial and health records of innocent Americans.

Federal prosecutor Stuart Dellery countered that investigators have no interest in those records. But he said the phone data has become a valuable tool for fighting terrorism.

The exchange came at a hearing over an ACLU lawsuit against the Obama administration brought after Edward Snowden leaked details of the secret programs.

The ACLU asked the judge to halt the programs pending the outcome of the suit. The judge did not make a decision on Friday.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.