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President Obama responds to PRISM concerns, clarifies scope of snooping

Tim Stevens
06.07.13
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If you've missed the news on PRISM and the hugely disconcerting allegations that the NSA is basically tracking everything you do on the internet and every call you make on your cellphone, we're guessing that's because you're stuck in a cave that has access to neither technology. The allegations are incredibly troubling to say the least, and President Obama this afternoon took the time to address them -- albeit briefly. For one thing, he clarified that "nobody is listening to your phone calls," indicating that people are looking at metadata about those calls (destinations, length, etc.) rather than the calls themselves. Additionally, he clarified the internet side of the program thusly: "Internet monitoring is only for those outside United States; we have to balance keeping America safe with privacy concerns." That's great for Americans, but perhaps a bit troubling for everyone else.

This more or less echoes the statements made yesterday by James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence. President Obama also reminded that this program predates his taking office, and that he himself was skeptical but has come around to the program, stating that this is something "Americans should feel comfortable about." Well, then, how comfortable do you feel? Let us know in comments.

Update: The Wall Street Journal has a full transcript of President Obama's comments.

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