SAN JOSE, Calif., June 7 President Barack Obama
on Friday staunchly defended U.S. government programs conducting
surveillance of Americans' phone and Internet activity,
insisting that they were conducted with broad safeguards to
protect against abuse.
"Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That's not
what this program is about," Obama told reporters on a visit to
California's Silicon Valley. He insisted that the surveillance
programs struck the right balance between keeping Americans safe
from terrorist attack and protecting their privacy.
The Washington Post reported late on Thursday that federal
authorities have been tapping into the central servers of
companies including Google, Apple and Facebook to gain access to
emails, photos and other files allowing analysts to track a
person's movements and contacts.
That added to privacy concerns sparked by a report in
Britain's Guardian newspaper that the National Security Agency
(NSA) had been mining phone records from millions of customers
of a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.