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Obama Releases Documents to Support NSA Surveillance
Agency only monitors 1.6% of Internet traffic: memo
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2013 7:33 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Right after President Obama's speech today on US surveillance, his administration released two documents in an effort to stem criticism over NSA data collection, CNN reports. One is an NSA memo that says the agency only monitors 1.6% of worldwide Internet traffic, and puts eyeballs on just .00004% of it. The other is a Justice Department document that argues US surveillance respects freedoms under the First and Fourth Amendments. Among the NSA memo's details:

  • The NSA eavesdropped on conversations between one of the 9/11 hijackers and al-Qaeda allies in Yemen. But the NSA was unable to determine that the hijacker was living in San Diego, so it couldn't warn the FBI. New data collection techniques were developed to address that issue.
From the Justice Department document:

  • Most "telephony metadata" is never seen by anyone "because it is not responsive to the limited queries that are authorized."
  • Most phone data does not "involve tracking locations from which telephone calls are made" (although that seems to contradict the NSA memo).
  • Unlike GPS tracking on cars, which requires a warrant, phone tracking is different because "telephone calls lack a reasonable expectation of privacy."
Click for more, or read about the bombshell Edward Snowden dropped today.

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Aug 12, 2013 6:13 PM CDT
remember 'Opey'? this guy's a black 'Opey"
Aug 12, 2013 4:36 AM CDT
There are those that say this is Bush's fault. Because this program started under his term. President Obama has been in office for six years. He and his staff had plenty of time to change this program. But it wasn't. That means that he and his staff liked this program. It wasn't going to take an act of Congress to change it. All it was going to take was a meeting, memo or phone call. So by nothing being done to change this, it is now Obama's fault. Is he not the President? Is he not suppose tobe the head of all departments under his administration? Does he not get a daily briefing on National Security? So after six years who's fault is it? The President that's been out of Office for six years or the current President, who had six years to change this policy?
Aug 12, 2013 3:29 AM CDT
Doesn't this trouble anyone that this intrusive government feels it has a right to listen to your calls? This is Orwell's 1984 and like the story where the leaders face is on every video screen Obama face is on every TV screen day in and day out. And now they want you passwords my god shouldn't this bring national outrage because we all know the government never abuses its power, right!