McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

June 19, 2013

Obama defends NSA digital surveillance programs


McALESTER — President Barack Obama tried to reassure skeptical Europeans about sweeping U.S. digital surveillance programs expanded under his watch, arguing that the programs are circumscribed, overseen by a court and effective.

“What I can say to everybody in Germany and everybody around the world is this applies very narrowly,” Obama said Wednesday after a meeting in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed the president on whether the programs were violating the privacy rights of German citizens.

“This is not a situation in which we are rifling through the ordinary emails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anybody else,” he said. “This is not a situation where we can go on to the Internet and start searching any way we want.”