6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

CNET News Video: Obama: US not spying on ordinary people (video)

About Video Transcript

CNET News Video: Obama: US not spying on ordinary people (video)

4:08 /

In a speech outlining his proposals to reform the NSA's controversial phone-records program, President Obama tries to reassure Americans and foreign governments -- and makes another dig at Edward Snowden.

It is hard to overstate the transformation America's Intelligence Community had to go through after 911. Our agency suddenly needed to do far more than the traditional mission of monitoring hostile powers and gathering information for policymakers. Instead, they were now asked to identify and target plotters in some remote parts of the world and to anticipate the actions of networks that by their very nature cannot be easily penetrated with spies or informants. And it is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of the men and women of our intelligence community that over the past decade, we've made enormous thrives in fulfilling this mission, in an extraordinary difficult job, one in which actions are second guest. Success is unreported, and failure can be catastrophic. The men and women of the intelligence community, including the NSA consistently follow protocols designed to protect the privacy of ordinary people. They're not abusing authorities in order to listen to your private phone calls or read your emails. When mistakes are made which is inevitable in any large and complicated human enterprise, they correct those mistakes. Given the fact of an open investigation, and I'm not gonna dwell on Mr. Snowden actions or his motivations. I will say that, our nation's defense depends in part on the fidelity of those entrusted with our nation's secrets. If any individual who objects to government policy can take it in their own hands to publicly disclose classified information, then we will not be able to keep our people safe or conduct foreign policy. Moreover, the sensational way in which these disclosures have come out has often shed more heat than light, while revealing methods to our adversaries that could impact our operations in ways that we may not fully understand for years to come. Now, the reforms that I'm proposing today should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected. Even as our intelligence and law enforcement agencies maintain the tools that they need to keep us safe. On all these issues, I'm open to working with Congress to ensure they rebuild a broad consensus for how to move forward and I'm confident that we can shape an approach that meets our security needs while upholding the civil liberties of every American. The bottom line is that, people around the world regardless of their nationality should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don't run our national security. We will take their privacy concerns into account in our policies and procedures. This applies to foreign leaders as well. Given the understandable attention that this issue received, I made clear to the intelligence community that unless there is a compelling national security purpose, we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies. Now let me be clear our-- our intelligence will continue to gather information about the intentions of governments as opposed to ordinary citizens around the world. In the same way that the intelligence services of every other nation does. We will not apologize simply because our services maybe more effective. But, heads of state and government with whom we work closely and on whose cooperation we depend should feel confident that we are treating them as real partners. And the chain is not ordered, you just left.
  • This is the interactive sidebar!

    Click any icon for more information as they appear--don't worry, we'll pause the video and wait for you to come back.

  • Links Polls Galleries
  • Video Review

New releases

2014 BMW i8 (CNET On Cars, Episode 56)
19:02 December 19, 2014
BMW's i8 is definitely a taste of the future -- but whose? We'll shed some light on MPGe, the benchmark for tomorrow's cars. And we...
Play video
Need a new size? Just tap the mirror
1:55 December 19, 2014
In a place where fashion comes first, tech is coming in at a close second. In major department stores and small boutiques, the dressing...
Play video
Did life forms exist on Mars? Curiosity makes a big find, Ep. 187
4:46 December 19, 2014
It's the last Crave show of 2014. This week, Curiosity makes a huge discovery, the US Navy has a shark drone and American satellites...
Play video
Obama: Sony wrong to pull movie over hackers' threats
2:56 December 19, 2014
President Obama addresses the Sony cyberattack and vows to respond to North Korea. Also, T-Mobile settles cramming lawsuit, and Facebook...
Play video
A cheap activity tracker you will actually want to wear
2:11 December 19, 2014
CNET's Dan Graziano gives you a look at one of the most affordable fitness trackers on the market.
Play video
Embarrassing moments in tech (2014)
2:53 December 19, 2014
The high profile tech of 2014 that aimed for the stars and landed in the gutter.
Play video
Solid tablet design hindered by so-so performance
2:48 December 19, 2014
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 has an excellent ergonomic build, but its performance lacks the same finesse.
Play video
Say hello to ZTE's mid-tier Grand X for Cricket Wireless
1:16 December 19, 2014
Featuring a 5-inch display, a dual-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera, the affordable ZTE Grand X is available prepaid from US...
Play video