June 7th, 2013
12:24 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama defends NSA surveillance programs

(CNN) – The data surveillance programs discussed in recent media reports "help us prevent terrorist attacks, and modest encroachments on privacy that are involved in getting phone numbers or duration ... without looking at content" is worth doing, President Barack Obama said Friday in San Jose, California.

"Nobody is listening to your telephone calls," he said. "... 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 terrorists.


Filed under: NSA • President Obama
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Pam from Iowa

    Every member of Congress authorized this spying on Americans back when Bush was President. Unfortunately, some of them don't remember!

    June 7, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. TheObserver

    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    – Ben Franklin

    I can not think of a more pertinent time for our nation to understand this concept. Remember that scene from Lethal Weapon 4 where there's a scuffle in the living room with Jet Li and everyone simultaneously ends up holding a pistol to someones head and everyone ends up with someone else holding a pistol to their own head. This has become the American definition of freedom. Narrow and pathetic are both understatements.

    June 7, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. tiscali.it

    @ Pam from Iowa
    _________
    good point

    June 7, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Every member of Congress authorized this spying on Americans back when Bush was President. Unfortunately, some of them don't remember!"

    GOPers/Teatrolls and the MSM remember alright....the former just want to shift the blame in service of their partisan political shenanigans and the latter wants to ignore it because it helps perpetuate this NONTROVERSY.

    June 7, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. anonymous

    the law if used corectly, and as it was intended to be used, is fine. the problem lies in the corrupt and criminal people within the obama administration and their disregard for laws and their intent. it appears their strategy is to abuse the laws to the maximum until every calls for their removal. the solution is to get rid of the leftist obama adminstration and treasonous criminals like eric holder.

    June 7, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    Nothing wrong here.

    June 7, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    If you do not know what "metadata" means, then let me tell you. Metadata is data about data. Huh, you say. Here's a simple example. A social security number is your data. Metadata about that data could describe the number of digits in a valid social security number, nine. Other metada could describe the format of how it is typically written.

    June 7, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Freedom comes with a price and this is part of that price. Live with it.

    June 7, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    Lethal weapon 4 the movie? Where people are killed but they are not really dead versus real life in a world where terrorists want to kill Americans and others just because?
    I don't care I'd the NSA needs to look into every call I have ever made to anybody and everybody if while doing this they find another 9/11 wannabe.
    Ben Franklin didn't have to worry about bombs set off at a marathon or these crazies flying commercial planes into buildings. As a matter of fact if the shrub administration hAd paid more attention to intelligence reports maybe 9/11 wouldn't have caught the war criminal Nd WMDs are buffoon reading. Children's story while people were dying.

    June 7, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    As a senator, Obama co-signed a letter supporting broad reforms of the Patriot Act, including a requirement that, in order to obtain records, the government should be required to convince a judge that the records they are seeking have some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy.

    You're on the record for this... so what's changed, Barry?

    June 7, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Bessy

    They can listen to my calls and survey my e-mails any time they want. I have nothing to hide as is the case with most Americans. If it helps to catch the terrorists I'm all for it. When Ben Franklin made his statement it was a different world out there and really is not pertinent to todays society.

    June 7, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. Canuck

    Republicans are OK with this but yet they think that requiring background checks for gun purchases is a huge infringement on individual rights. Go figure...

    June 7, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "You're on the record for this... so what's changed, Barry?"

    Nothing's changed, and that's the point. That requirement never came to be, so that's that. Yes, there's the age-old adage that the executive branch will take and use whatever power we give it, but it has to be understood in the context of the POTUS' duties. When you create authority or a power to do something like this, it comes with a duty for the POTUS to exercise that authority/power when the situations for which it was granted arise. Were the POTUS to fail to do so, he'd be risking charges that he was derelict in his duties, failed to act, committed negligence, etc.

    And oooooh, what a field day the GOP/Teatrolls would have if it came out after another attack that Obama WASN'T using these Patriot Act/FISA powers. We all know you guys would've gone ballistic and started spewing all the "secret muslim" and 'terrorist sympathizer" nonsense about it if something like that happened, so your faux outrage over him exercising powers the GOP insisted on the executive having in the first place is entirely disingenuous and not at all credible.

    June 7, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Every member of Congress authorized this spying on Americans back when Bush was President"

    Not true. Almost all GOPers did and the majority of Dems did. The people who voted against it were almost entirely Dems though, and just a couple GOPers.

    June 7, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. it must be said

    Bessy
    They can listen to my calls and survey my e-mails any time they want. I have nothing to hide as is the case with most Americans.
    -–

    Thank you for so easily giving up your right to any privacy. Next month the government will want easy and warrantless acces to all of your financial records to ensure you are not involved in any criminal activity. Next year the government will want easy and warrantless access to all of your medical records to make sure you are not getting too fat and causing them added costs. In 5 years, their plan to simply place an RFID chip in your neck will also require your cooperation as they have automated their subject tracking system.

    Yes, thank you America for making all of this so easy. Your government promises they would never ever abuse any of this information or use it against you. And since you have nothing to hide, you have no need to worry about any of the above.

    What fools so many of you are.

    June 7, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    Woman In California

    Freedom comes with a price and this is part of that price. Live with it.
    --------
    Clearly you're confusing "freedom" with "security". What is happening is that we're losing freedoms for the promise of security. If the price of security is my freedoms, I'll take my chances with the terrorists. I think the vast majority will agree.

    June 7, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Guest

    Patriot Act author sayd oblabla and friends far exceeded the legal parameters and the intent, obvious to most except you fools that continue defending this admin's criminal conduct!

    June 7, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |