Hillary Clinton urges a 'comprehensive discussion' about NSA surveillance

Hillary Clinton says the U.S. government needs to have a ‘comprehensive discussion’ about the scope of the National Security Agency’s surveillance program. 

“Trying to go up to the line of what is appropriate surveillance and security measures, and not over the line is something we need to have a full comprehensive discussion about,” the former secretary of state said at Colgate University in Upstate New York Friday evening. 

Her comments come at the end of a week consumed in reports claiming the NSA spied on American allies abroad. 

Stories largely based on documents NSA leaker Edward Snowden provided to journalists said the U.S. has monitored phone calls of French citizens and may have tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone. 

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The White House, however, denied the report regarding France and said the U.S. isn’t and will not monitor Merkel’s communications. Officials did not say whether such activity previously happened. 

“I think people have a right to complain if they’ve gone over the line,” Clinton said, while adding NSA’s activities have proven useful in intelligence gathering. 

The public should have the right to know about those operations, she said, but she also warned the U.S. doesn’t want to reveal enough that would alert its enemies. 

"I think everybody now says, 'We have to make sure we're not going too far,' and that's a discussion that has to happen in a calm atmosphere,” she said. 

In addition to Clinton’s Colgate lecture, she recently spoke at the University of Buffalo this week, and at Hamilton College—both of which are also based in Upstate New York. 

Clinton's more frequent public appearances may hint at another presidential run in 2016.