June 7, 2013
(AP) - President Barack Obama is defending his government's secret surveillance, saying Congress has repeatedly authorized the collection of America's phone records and U.S. internet use.
In his first comments since the programs were publicly revealed this week, Obama says safeguards are in place. He says nobody is listening to the content of phone calls. And he says the internet targeting is aimed at foreign nationals, not American citizens.
Obama says he increased some of the "safeguards" on the programs after taking office. And he believes they help his administration stop terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul has introduced legislation that would require a warrant before any government agency could search the phone records of Americans.
Responding to the furor over the disclosure of the National Security Agency program, Paul says the bill introduced Friday is intended to stop the NSA from spying on U.S. citizens.
The bill says the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution cannot be misconstrued to allow an unreasonable search and seizure by any agency without a warrant based on probable cause.
The Kentucky Republican and tea party favorite has been highly critical of President Barack Obama over protecting civil liberties.
Paul calls the latest revelation of a secret program to collect phone records of millions of Verizon customers "an astounding assault on the Constitution."
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