WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has staunchly defended US government programmes conducting surveillance of Americans’ phone and Internet activity, insisting that they were conducted with broad safeguards to protect against abuse.
“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That’s not what this programme is about,” Obama told reporters on a visit to California’s Silicon Valley on Friday.
He insisted that the surveillance programmes struck the right balance between keeping Americans safe from terrorist attack and protecting their privacy.
Obama was commenting on revelations this week in the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting or tapping into vast amounts of telephone and internet communications data.