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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: 415; 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: 415; 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: 415; 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: 715; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)

omg get over it :P

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 16:21

39. MikeG77 (Posts: 415; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

I'm just messing around so relax!

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:10 2

3. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1123; 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: 696; 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: 696; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

Good point though.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 13:46 4

10. MikeG77 (Posts: 415; 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: 696; 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: 415; 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: 1642; 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: 696; 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: 785; 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: 679; 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: 4365; 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: 715; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)

you just made us all suspect... GREAT

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 16:23 1

41. MikeG77 (Posts: 415; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

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

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