NSAPresident Obama just delivered his first public statements on the massive government surveillance efforts on internet companies and phone records targeting millions of ordinary citizens, which were revealed by leaked documents published online earlier this week. Answering a reporter’s questions after his speech on healthcare in San Jose, California, the president sought to downplay both the scope of the reported surveillance programs and their secrecy, saying Congress not only knew about them, but overwhelmingly approved both programs. “These are programs that have been authorized by broad bipartisan majorities repeatedly since 2006,” Obama said, adding, “your duly elected representatives have been consistently informed on exactly what we’re doing.” He then moved on to talk about phone surveillance specifically.

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