President Obama Defends Surveillance Programs

Source: David Jackson / USA Today

President Obama defended National Security Agency surveillance programs Friday, saying they are designed to promote public safety and protect civil liberties.

“They help us prevent terrorist attacks,” Obama said, despite what he calls “modest encroachments” on what some consider private activity.

Speaking after delivering a health care speech in San Jose, Calif., Obama denounced the “hype” surrounding recent news reports, and that “nobody is listening to your telephone calls” or “reading the mail” of U.S. citizens.

Obama also disputed the idea these are “secret” programs, saying they are “classified” in order to keep potential terrorists from learning about U.S. “preventive measures.”

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