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Friday, March 7, 2014 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English

News Words: Surveillance

Welcome to the Voice of America's "News Words." Here's a word you might have heard: Surveillance. It's in a story about US government intelligence agencies watching Americans'telephone and Internet records. President Obama put forward his defense of the secret surveillance programs, when asked by a reporter during a health care event in California.

"Surveillance" means to watch or follow someone, or something, closely. Usually, it's done secretly. US intelligence groups say gathering telephone and internet records helps prevent terrorism. Now, when you hear the word "surveillance," your English will be good enough to know what this News Word means.