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Civil Liberties Groups Challenge Bush On Domestic Spying

The U.S. President has renewed the order to secretly spy on Americans more than two dozen times since the 11 September 2001 attacks (file photo) (epa) 17 January 2006 -- Two U.S. civil liberties groups today challenged the legal basis of U.S. President George W. Bush's domestic spying program.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed suit against the government, saying the program uses unconstitutional methods of intelligence gathering and violates Americans' right to free speech and privacy.

Bush has defended the program, which allows government agencies to monitor electronic communications, as legal and necessary. He says the program is part of national security measures and is aimed at tracking down terrorists.

(AP, Reuters)