Obama defends phone data collection program
President Barack Obama pauses while speaking in San Jose, Calif. , Friday, June 7, 2013. The president defended his government's secret surveillance, saying Congress has repeatedly authorized the collection of America's phone records and U.S.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama vigorously defended the government's newly disclosed collection of massive amounts of information from phone and internet records on Friday as a necessary defense against terrorism, and assured Americans, "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls."
"We have to make choices as a society," Obama said in his first remarks about revelations of the huge scope of government surveillance. "It's important to recognize that you can't have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience."
It was revealed late Wednesday that the National Security Agency has been collecting the phone records of hundreds of millions of U.S. phone customers. The leaked document first reported by the Guardian newspaper gave the NSA authority to collect from all of Verizon's land and mobile customers, but intelligence experts said the program swept up the records of other phone companies too. Another secret program revealed Thursday scours the Internet usage of foreign nationals overseas who use any of nine U.S.-based internet providers such as Microsoft and Google.
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