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President Obama on PRISM: "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls"

Posted: , by Michael H.

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President Obama on PRISM:
Yesterday, news broke that the National Security Agency has been using a program called PRISM to collect metadata on calls made on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint in the U.S. The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) has already come out to comment on the report, but now we have word from President Obama himself, who says that "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls".

The president also wanted to confirm that the program "does not apply to U.S. citizens and it does not apply to people living the United States." While President Obama didn't offer anything as far as details on how the PRISM program works, and did not comment on allegations that the program is also pulling data from companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook. But, on the topic of the phone call data collected, the president said:
When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That is not what this program is about.

As was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is, looking at those numbers, and durations of calls. They are not looking at people’s names and they’re not looking at content. But, by sifting through this so-called metadata they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism.

The president also tried to quell the paranoia surrounding this story, saying:
In the abstract, you can complain about ‘big brother’ and how this is a potential program wrong amok. But when you actually look at the details, I think we’ve struck the right balance.

Also adding:
I think there’s a suggestion that somehow, any classified program is a quote-unquote secret program which means that it’s somehow suspicious. But the fact of the matter is, in our modern history, there’s been a whole range of programs that have been classified.

None of this answers some of the more pressing questions about the program, and it still looks as though DNI James Clapper may have had the right idea when he said he would try to make some of the program declassified in order to prove that the public's civil liberties have not been compromised. 

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posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:00 20

1. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

President Obama thinks were all stupid and that the gov't would never listen to someones calls or read there emails....well guess what they have all ready done so. This coming from a guy who is the first President to have killed an American citizen on foreign soil with no trial, took down 2 regimes in Libya and Egypt, has the IRS knowingly/unknowingly harrassing groups who don't agree with his agenda, Benghazi and now this.

Sorry Mr. President but your not going to be able to blage W. and Cheney for this one.

P.S. the gov't can actually read your email without you knowing it and they dont have to notify you for

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:06 7

2. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

P.S. the gov't can actually read your email thatis over 180 days without you knowing it and they dont have to notify you until they have completed there investigation. Anything prior they have to acquire a warrant to access your account.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 15:29 2

30. dragonstkdgirl (Posts: 144; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)

Benjamin Franklin - "Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."

Also, *we're, *their *you're, etc.

Sometimes I hate my OCD.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 15:54

34. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

LOL yes Old Ben was right and yes i spelled a few words wrong ; )

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 15:54

35. kozza3 (Posts: 698; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)

omg get over it :P

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 16:21

39. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

I'm just messing around so relax!

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:10 2

3. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1032; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)

I voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012..................AND he is lying about the Government not listening to our phone calls. We all know that the government is listening to our phone calls because of 9/11. As crazy as this world is, I wouldnt be surprised if they were!! I have nothing to hide and I wouldnt DARE say anything that would pose physical harm to President Obama or anyone within the government

Im looking at this like "We know you're doing it, but as long as im not saying anything incriminating, I dont have a problem with it"

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:31 1

17. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Ummm. I tend to doubt that our phone calls are being listened to in real time absent a court order authorizing the listening. There is too much precedent for requiring a court order for listening to phone calls in real time. But text messages, email messages, file attachments, etc. are all new territory and open for exploitation.

The only difference between Barry and W is that Barry is using the FISA court as a way to assert the intercepts are constitutional. W (aka d**k) didn't give a red rats ass about the Constitution.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 15:37 1

32. PaulNotFromSweden (Posts: 55; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

The president is correct that no one is listening to phone calls. The NSA has massive banks of computers that "listen" or "read" various correspondences that either originate or terminate overseas. If the analysis software (the really classified part of all this) detects a potential problem, it is then sent to a human analyst for further evaluation. By law this is not happening with internal U.S. conversations (conversations that begin and end in the U.S.).

So if you want to get on the NSA's radar, call, text or e-mail your buddy in Hamburg, or better yet, Sanaa, and mention al Qaeda, package, bomb, etc. Otherwise, no one, not even the NSA, cares. And why would they? They have far too much on their plate as it is.

And then thank whatever god you believe in that the NSA is on the job. They've done far more to keep us safe than you can imagine.

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 09:45

54. Daftama (Posts: 619; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Of course they are not listening. ..a person made stupid comment over the phone joking around see what happened. .who knew he got picked up by unmarked cars had the house searched detained etc hmmn oh by the way it was a random some one tipped them off they were not listening to any calls

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:26 3

4. donfem (Posts: 646; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

We all want to be safe. When something happens, we blame governmnt for "not doing enough", yet we top security without giving up anything. How do we expect the government to take steps to keep us safe without listening in, if there is need? Individuals end up switching sides as a law-abiding citizen today might end up to be anti society tomorrow. I have no problem with whatever government decides. All I care about is being safe. Please keep politics out of PA.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:41 6

7. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

problem is politics will eventually end up on tech sites because tech is a part of the new form of global governance and they play a big part in our lives so its like a car website having to discuss the problem with fossil fuels and the middle east crisis .

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:47

24. donfem (Posts: 646; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

Good point though.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:46 4

10. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

Don first things first you are a naive and selfish person....there I said it. You say that all YOU care about is being safe well that’s nice but if people think the way you do one day were going to wake up and say to ourselves "how and why did this happen". Well you'll only need to look in the mirror beause people want to be safe. Time for a reality check.....the world isn't a safe place.

In regards to keeping politics out of this discussion your a hypocrite because you came on here and left a comment on the article and then complain about it. This is a news story about the gov't collecting data on our phone calls, texts, sms, emails and you honestly thought politics would not come into play?

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:45

22. donfem (Posts: 646; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

Making dumb statements like yours is baffling. You start with calling me "naive and selfish" all because I stated my opinion. Also, you see me as a hypocrite because I commented on the article. I find you are unreasonable and will not join words with an uneducated person. Forums are meant to be for expressing one's views while respecting other view points. I guess you can't read or have lack of understanding. I did not complain anywhere about coming here. Please read and understand before you get to type crap.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 16:15

38. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

Don I never said you were not entitled to have an opinion just as i am not required to agree with yours.

Yes i found your post a little hypocritical because mentioned that it was not appropriate to bring politics into the discussion and yet this is to some point a political issue.

In regards to the selfish and naive part your gonna get mad because i disagree with you? Ok thats fine but i don't feel that the gov't should be able to do whatever it wants to regardless of who is in office under the guise of public safety. You did state in your post that all that matters is that YOU are safe which is a selfish statement.

Lets just agree to disagree.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:01

14. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1163; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

Did the government keep those at the Boston Marathon safe from that bombing? I mean it's been several years that we've had all of these programs and security measures in place, yet they couldn't prevent that. The older brother was even on the FBI's watchlist, but that didn't stop him from doing what he did. The truth of the matter is we will never have true security. There is always going to be someone out there that is going to get around the system and do harm, but we cannot let fear dictate what actions we take. Look at how many soldiers are over seas right now fighting a war because our politicians say that they are keeping us "safe" by being there. The reality is, the enemy is winning. We have probably taken out hundreds of terrorists, while they have eliminated tens of thousands of US soldiers and innocent civilians. It's been over a decade since this war has started, and the only outcome has been less freedom and more death. You're right that when events happen we seem to put the blame on somebody for not doing enough and it usually is the government, but all that's going to happen is we will continue to come out with more and more programs that hinder our basic rights while events like the Boston Marathon bombing may continue to happen because of ways to circumvent the programs in place.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:53 1

25. donfem (Posts: 646; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

I respect your view points. All I am saying is, we all want to be safe and should allow whatever the authorities need to do to keep us safe. Imagine if there had been "heavy security" presence at the unfortunate event in Boston, a lot of people would have cried out about not "being free". I do not agree when people blame government for not "doing enough" but complain when government is trying to prevent such occurence.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 15:37 1

31. PK1983 (Posts: 215; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)

@ Donfem, do you realize what you just said?
The authorities should do whatever is necessary to keep us safe....

What if that included putting cameras in your home that were monitored 24/7? What if that meant interrogating you just because you made a comment on a website? What if because you looked a certain way or believed in a certain thing, you were forced to live in a certain area for the protection of the nation and the "greater good".

If you give a government power they will use it and abuse it. Please crack a history book on this.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:38 5

5. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

That's a BIG FAT LIE. They are all listening and seeing what we are doing.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:41 2

6. Android4u (Posts: 456; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)

I always feel like ....somebody's watching me ....

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:43 2

9. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

"he sees when you are sleeping , he knows when you're awake " - Santa Clause

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:49

11. ZeroCide (Posts: 773; Member since: 09 Jan 2013)

Someone is.... look behind you!!!!!!!!

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:43 2

8. p0rkguy (Posts: 685; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)

It's obviously a lie.
If you do get proof to prove they are listening, chances are you've already been flagged as a terrorist. You don't need a warrant for an investigation on an act of terror.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:56 1

12. Diego! (Posts: 574; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)

WTF? Yeah right! This is exactly what Chris Nolan showed us in "The Dark Knight", they could see, listen and read ANYTHING under their signals... It's a shame!

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:57 1

13. roldefol (Posts: 4242; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

If the government is listening to your mundane phone calls, you have succeeded in wasting some beaurocrat's time. Congratulations!

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:13 1

15. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

They just listen to keywords so if you use keywords like - Drone, attack , bomb, IED ,Bilderberg ,New World Order,Alex Jones,Ron Paul ,White House ,Washington,China,Iran,terror,mk ultra ,nsa,gun ,bullets ....you might have a few "outside visitors" listening in

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:33 2

18. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

Thank you for flagging this thread. :-(

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 15:55

37. kozza3 (Posts: 698; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)

you just made us all suspect... GREAT

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 16:23 1

41. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

If thats the case i think we need to pool our resources to higher an attorney just in case ; )

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:21 4

16. shikroi (Posts: 187; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)

One word..............BULLSHlT

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:36

19. madpiyal (Posts: 108; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)

The liar of the year goes to Mr. ...... Well Mr. Obama why don't you come with some new ideas to threaten your citizens. Every single time you come with the "Terrorist" shield. There is no doubt outside the US, US is considered the main Terrorist by normal civilians. All these privacy breach, isn't it the fruit of your so called Patriot Act which is reformed just by uttering the same "Terrorist attack" shield?

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:38 4

20. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Okay guys, how stupid you are! All of you are propably American idiots who panic about everything. How do you think that they really listen to all of your calls? How do you think they have time for that? They would need half of the world to listen for those. They only record them and then use them as evidence if it's really needed. Just calm down!

Yeah, I know that the government really can do pretty much anything without you noticing it. But hey, it's only for our wellness! Nobody will know, if you send a message to your friend. Except your friend of course... This is how the world goes... You can't just say everything was better before. In some ways it is true but then there are at least as many things that are better now... So stop acting like a little baby and grow up...

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:46 3

23. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

I always wanted to see a lemming , now I can finally rest in peace

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:58 2

26. madpiyal (Posts: 108; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)

R we guys stupid or you are? You must have born in the 2000's and watched a lot of TV shows.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 15:14 1

29. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Completely wrong.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 16:48 3

42. roldefol (Posts: 4242; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

Thank you for having the balls to say it. While most of the comments here are the usual "eff the government liars", the fact is this program will never affect 99% of us. I am not saying warrantless snooping is justified or moral, I'm saying it's not worth losing sleep over.

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 17:27 1

52. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

yeah, the government isn't paying people to listen to the phone calls we make to our fiends and spouses. another indication of how insignificant this is that we're only just now finding out about it. that's the logic people are using right now. "oh, now that we know about this thing it suddenly matters and our privacy feels violated." i don't know about you guys but before all this my privacy didn't feel the least bit violated. just don't talk about things that'll get you red flagged over the phone or in your emails or whatever. if you want to know how much they care about the little stuff think about how often you've heard about criminals being arrested because of this.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:39 1

21. ray77 (Posts: 126; Member since: 17 Nov 2012)

this is full of crap in part of the president none is stupid

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 14:59 2

27. MartianMe (unregistered)

facc the goverment!!!!....jew mafia!!!

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 16:22

40. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

WOW you had to do it didn't you?!

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 16:53

43. roldefol (Posts: 4242; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

Hooray! Blind ignorant bigotry lives!

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 15:00 2

28. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4198; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

If the program doesn't apply to US citizens or people living in the US, then why are they using Verizon, AT&T, & Sprint? They are based in the US, Verizon is Vodaphone overseas, and as far as I know Sprint & AT&T don't operate outside the US. Even if they aren't targeting Americans, wouldn't they be looking at the callers from the US who are calling these people overseas? He seems to be contradicting himself.

What these politicians seem to fail to realize is, like someone said above, the world isn't a safe place. Things will happen know matter how much you prepare for them. No one can prepare for every possible contingency. Same with gun control. While I believe keeping guns away from the mentally disturbed is a good idea, what about the normal guy who snaps when he sees his wife inbed with another man, or the guy who gave his life to a company and gets laid off then shoots up his office? There is no way to prepare for those scenarios. It's tragic when it happens but in some cases no amount of preparing can protect you from the unexpected, and you can't expect everything.

An expert was talking about TSA revising their methods to worry less about minimal threats (money clip knife, etc) and look more for major threats (bombs, guns, etc). Who would've ever thought that a box cutter could be a threat? They have an inch blade, you could kill someone as easily with a pen. A baseball bat can kill someone, but they aren't banning them.

We are sending our citizens overseas to fight and give other countries freedom and liberty, which is ironic since we seem to be losing that same thing ourselves more and more since it started. And know with our connected world the government has many more ways to track and watch it's citizens. I only hope someone reins them in before we end up with a police state.

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 05:21

53. rallyguy (Posts: 620; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)

They have already admitted that they have been listening to domestic communication. That's the whole DOJ vs. AP scandal. OK it's they didn't use the PRISM. But it's obvious they are doing what they want with complete disregard for the law and Constitution. They have no credibility, so I assume they are unless proven otherwise.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 15:48

33. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


And he will repeal the Patriot Act.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 19:19

45. 14545 (Posts: 1537; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

I knew as soon as it claimed that campaigning in 08 that he was full of sh!t. All of them are lying, POS, psychopathic douchebags. (Still don't think that is enough adjectives) I want my freedoms. Freedoms that I have never had the privilege of knowing.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 15:55 2

36. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

B-u-l-l-s-h-i-t they are reading this right now. F-e-ck-em

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 19:09 1

44. 14545 (Posts: 1537; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Nope, they're not listening in on on phone conversations......Until they are. This seems to be a play on words. No one may be sitting there with a headset on listening to our conversations, but you best believe that the government does have a computer that monitors for keywords for flagging if they deem necessary. I guess it's just all about semantics. No, "Noone" is sitting there listening to our conversations but a computer program does "know" and monitor exactly what you say or email. Screw him and his last 15 predecessors.

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 01:00 2

46. Trex95 (Posts: 900; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)

I think i'll go back to Nokia 3310 or some chinese crap phone non Android that's would better. I don't want anymore illuminate crap.

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 03:52

47. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

i guess you can make Android safe by rooting the heck out of it and removing any google or other crapware

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 08:21

49. madpiyal (Posts: 108; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)

well said.I have just recently changed my primary email from gmail to outlook(1 year maybe), thought it was safer. Now it seems all my hard work was futile. I also thought I will switch to windows phone but now I am thinking of Blackberry or the new Firefox os or maybe what Samsung brings later this year(a new os is coming). I need a smart phone and more than that I need my data's to be safe.

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 09:48

51. johnnh (Posts: 37; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)

nobody is listening! it's just the machine!

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 09:47

55. Daftama (Posts: 619; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

By the way I believe you as much I believe a bull won't attack me because i am vegetarian

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