If you want an honest answer?
It's already been established that Clapper is authorized to lie so what's the point of asking him? Oh wait, it's an election year isn't it - this is just political clickbait.
The US House Judiciary Committee has sent a letter to the director of national intelligence James Clapper asking him exactly how many US citizens the security services are spying on. "We write to ask that you provide us with a public estimate of the number of communications or transactions involving United States persons …
I'd expect a totally fudged answer that points in the direction of the truth but from the imagination of professional liars and inveiglers.
He should be compelled to provide his sampling methodology publicly, also, esp if he's only doing 'one run' at the figures.
Well this isn't going to turn out well. Recall that Clapper has an interesting definition of collect, i.e. the records that turn up in a keyword search and are read by a human. Gathering everything that crosses the web, well that's not relevant, so we don't count all those individuals' records.
So, as Version 1.0 calls it, political click-bait.
That's why programs like this are on a black budget. There's no way to defund it, because it is lumped in with a lot of other black budget stuff that they'll want to keep.
The real choke chain they have on him is to not renew the law that allows him to do this at all. Even the 'illegal' spying that Bush started and Obama continued that was revealed by Snowden was 'legal' based on an interpretation of a law from a White House lawyer that the AG approved. No one in the intelligence or law enforcement community is going to maintain a program spying on US citizens without some law to cover his butt, so if the congress is pissed enough they can uncover his butt and force the program to end.
I'm sure lapdogs like Feinstein and Burr will always vote for whatever spying the FBI wants, but you just need to piss off some of the middle of the road guys to join the odd anti-spying alliance of far right guys who are above all suspicious of government and far left guys who above all believe in civil liberties, and the law won't be renewed next year.
He's asking for US citizens. There are roughly 300 million of them, so that's your upper limit.
Wikipedia estimates 280 million Internet users, not all of whom will be citizens.
So my guess is around a quarter of a billion if we include spying done on the NSA's behalf by other agencies, but that wasn't the question asked.
Yep, could probably count the number of US citizens not being spied on using Clapper's fingers and toes. Of course, to get a more accurate answer Clapper would have to be waterboarded. While I'm 1,000,000% against waterboarding, aka torture, in this case I'll make an exception.