President Obama defends once-secret counterterrorism programs, such as NSA data-mining, and decries leaks, even as he welcomes public debate over how to balance security with civil liberties.
President Obama sought to reassure Americans that the government is not spying on them or unduly violating their civil liberties, after a spate of press leaks that exposed top-secret federal data-mining programs.
But in remarks to reporters Friday, the president also defended such programs as necessary for national security – and said he welcomed a public debate over the tradeoffs involved in keeping the public safe while also protecting privacy.
“I think it's important to recognize that you can't have a hundred percent security and also then have a hundred percent privacy and zero inconvenience,” Mr. Obama said in San Jose, Calif., before heading to southern California to meet with China's president. “You know, we're going to have to make some choices as a society.”
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