Obama ‘Frustrated’ By Stories About NSA Surveillance

'I have been frustrated generally about both the Snowden disclosures but also some of the reporting around it'

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After more than eight months of stories about controversial surveillance programs overseen by the National Security Agency, President Barack Obama says he’s “frustrated” by Edward Snowden’s leaks and by the work of some journalists who have brought those programs to light.

“I have been frustrated generally about both the Snowden disclosures but also some of the reporting around it,” Obama told People magazine in an exclusive end-of-year interview hitting newsstands Friday.

Obama repeated his administration’s position that some of the initial reports about the scale and scope of the programs were false. “I want to emphasize that for people who live in America, the government is prohibited by law from listening to your phone calls or reading your e-mails without a warrant from a judge,” he said. “Sometimes what we’ve seen and heard makes people feel like Big Brother is watching all the time, and that’s just not the case.”

On Wednesday, the White House released a more than 300-page review of the controversial programs including 46 recommendations to the president to curtail the NSA’s authority and to wind down one program — the collection of a massive database of telephone metadata. Obama has already rejected one policy recommendation: separating command of the National Security Agency from the military’s Cyber Command. The White House says Obama will be reviewing the report and its recommendations over the holidays, and will make a determination about the other policy suggestions by mid-January.

9 comments
RobertNguyen
RobertNguyen

The country vote for the President who is also the CIC to decide this matter and decide correctly in according with our laws and our Constitution. No agency is above the law and Congress needs to do a much better job in their oversight. Heads must roll to answer for this gross violation.

hartmann.thm
hartmann.thm

 I can imagine the President's frustration. I had hoped that he would also understand ours. But it turns out I was wrong. 

A concern of mine is that the President, the Congress, or the nine holy men of the Court are not in a position to assure citizens of what the NSA is doing or not doing. They only know what the NSA wants them to know. When some members of Congress tried to get some information out of the NSA officials, they were lied to!. 

Another concern is how the President and the NSA itself take so lightly the loss of our liberties. A country's strength is based on its economic dynamism, its conduct, its institutions and liberties, It has little to do  with the ability to run around the world to identify a lunatic or two here and there. Doing the latter at the cost of eroding our liberties and our economic competitiveness undermines us. It does not strengthen the country. If we keep NSA, as I fear we will, we should demand that they at least hire educated people so they would at least understand these simple links. 

Hartmann

Florida

AlanMacDonald
AlanMacDonald

Faux-Emperor/president Obama should be 'Frustrated' by the exposure of the Disguised Global Empire that he shills and covers-up for.


NSA spying on all Americans (and every human being in every country on the globe) is merely the first recognition of only one of the police-state functions of merely one 'militarist sector' of the overall Disguised Global Empire, the integrated but hidden six-sectored Global Empire of; corporate, financial, militarist, media, extra-legal, and political Empire, that has 'captured' and now fully "Occupies" our former country (and others) by hiding behind the facade of its modernized and DUAL-Party 'Vichy' sham of democracy --- just as surely as the earlier Nazi Empire tried less successfully to hide behind its crude and mere single-party Vichy facade regime in 'captured' and "Occupied" France during the Second World War of EMPIRES.

Best to all in correctly diagnosing, exposing, non-violently confronting, surgically 'excising', and surviving the cancerous disease of Empire which is currently Disguising a hidden tumor in our 'body politic'.

Best luck and love to the fast expanding 'Occupy the Empire' educational and non-violent revolutionary movement against this deceitful and Disguised Global EMPIRE, which can't so easily be identified as wearing Red Coats, Red Stars, nor funny looking Nazi helmets ---- quite YET! 

Liberty, democracy, justice, and equality
Over
Violent ('Vichy' disguised)
Empire, 

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

SandRat
SandRat

Don't believe it for a minute. Can't be trusted with all this data. Just ask Larry Klayman, the attorney that brought the case that resulted in Judge Leon finding it unconstitutional. He's reported being harrassed by NSA such as sending emails to people from *his* account and other activities just to let him know they were watching.

trygor
trygor

In other words, he'd like to silence his critics. Surveillance and censorship: two sides of the same despotic coin.

rimuatkinson
rimuatkinson

Yeah I'm frustrated too - by the fact that this massive surveillance is still happening. People outside the USA are people too!

jmac
jmac

@RobertNguyen What gross violation?   Tracking phone calls to find overseas patterns and then tossing them after five years?   The solution being considered  now is that we'll pay the phone companies and the Googles, etc, to keep those records for five years.   Whether NSA will have to get a warrant is still up in the air, but they will still be able to look at what they want - it will just take longer. 


Heads can't role if no violation was committed.   The one suit by a right-wing nut who says NSA was sending emails in his name to smear him isn't going to hack it  - and by taking that case Leon appears more unreliable than Klayman.     

jmac
jmac

@hartmann.thm The result of Snowden's security dump has resulted in something he surely did not want.   Obama is stronger than before - N.S.A. can no longer spy on foreign leaders without his say so.   He will have more input into what they're doing plus they (NSA)  will now be more secretive  due to the leak.


I'm okay with that; I trust Obama.  But I'm pretty sure that wasn't the result Snowden wanted.  You mention"economic dynamism" -  that too is being weighed.   Do we pull back on Cyber Command just so international companies won't pull back their business?   I hope not.   It's a balancing act; not a black and white issue.  And the President will ultimately decide - "Mr. Obama must now make a choice:  to keep building the world's most sophisticated cyber arsenal, or pare back for fear of harming American competitiveness."  

jmac
jmac

@SandRat Too funny.   You just made Obama's case.


It's really funny when the right-wing tin foils hold hands with the left-wing pacifists.   It's confusing Fox.  They don't know what direction to go in.   Poor Megan is being ripped into.