President Obama denied that the NSA or any other agency of the Government is listening in on American citizens phone calls. But as is Obama’s style, he is answering a question not asked. The report was that the United States Government is collecting data on every American.
Obama wanted to make sure that everyone knew that “every member of Congress has been briefed.” I guess we can name Congress as co-conspirators of violations of the 4th amendment.
President Obama on Friday offered a robust defense of the government surveillance programs revealed this week, and sought to reassure the public that his administration has not become a Big Brother with eyes and ears throughout the world of online communications.
“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” Mr. Obama said, delivering a 14-minute answer to two questions about the surveillance programs at an event that was initially supposed to be devoted to the health care law. “That’s not what this program is about.”
The president’s remarks, during a four-day trip to the West Coast, were his first since the revelations this week of programs to collect information about phone calls and Internet traffic. Mr. Obama said the programs help prevent terrorist attacks and they are kept in check by rigorous judicial and Congressional oversight.
The National Security Agency’s data surveillance programs discussed in recent media reports “help us prevent terrorist attacks,” President Barack Obama said Friday in San Jose, California. He added that “modest encroachments on privacy that are involved in getting phone numbers or duration … without looking at content” are worth the result.
“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” Obama said in his first public remarks on the controversy. “What the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls. They’re not looking at people’s names, and they’re not looking at content, but by sifting through this so-called metadata, they may identify certain leads that” might help authorities disrupt potential terrorist plans.
Obama said the programs are not secret in the respect that “every member of Congress has been briefed” on the phone data program, and the relevant intelligence committees have been briefed on a ll the programs.