President Obama made the first public statements on the NSA’s monitoring of American phone calls and data-mining of Facebook, Gmail, Skype, and other services at a press conference this morning. The press conference was nominally on the Affordable Care Act, but the President did address the story at the top of today’s news cycle. Apparently, the President is–as might be expected–completely okay with the fact that American intelligence agencies are data-mining information from Gmail.
According to Carlos Lozada of the Washington Post, who livetweeted the speech, President Obama said that “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls — that’s not what this program is about.” He went on to say “I came in with a healthy skepticism about these programs… But my assessment… was that they help us prevent terrorist attacks.”
At the end, President Obama said that “you can’t have 100% security and then 100% privacy.”