Obama On PRISM: NSA Can’t ‘Listen In’ To U.S Citizens’ Phonecalls

Obama On PRISM: NSA Can’t ‘Listen In’ To U.S Citizens’ Phonecalls

TheNextWeb (via BuzzFeed) claims to have obtained an – albeit partial – transcript of that interview which took place between President Obama and Charlie Rose, yesterday.

Among other topics, the POTUS formally addressed the recent media reports regarding the U.S government’s surveillance program, PRISM, and (according to the transcript) interestingly also claimed that all U.S citizens are ‘exempt’ from the program’s reach.


From the transcript, we learn that PRISM is actually referred to internally as the “702 program,” with Obama reportedly claiming that this program “does not apply to any U.S. persons.”

“[It] has to be a foreign entity. It can only be narrowly related to counter-terrorism, weapons proliferation, cyber hacking or attacks, and a select number of identifiers — phone numbers, e-mails, et cetera,” the transcript reads. “Those — and the process has all been approved by the courts — you can send to providers — the Yahoos or the Googles, what have you. And in the same way that you present essentially a warrant. And what will happen then is that you there can obtain content.”

“But again, that does not apply to U.S. persons. And it’s only in these very narrow bands,” Obama concludes.

There’s a number of other interesting comments made by Obama during the interview. We’re not prepared to discuss all of them here, but you can head over to TheNextWeb to read the partial transcript and see what you make of it.

You can also re-watch the entire interview, at CharlieRose.com.

See Also: “The Cost To Store All U.S Phonecalls Made In One Year: $27 Million?”