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Obama defends U.S. surveillance programs

U.S. President Barack Obama staunchly defends U.S. government programs conducting surveillance of Americans' phone and Internet activity, insisting that they were conducted with broad safeguards to protect against abuse. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That's not what this program is about." Obama insists that the surveillance programs have struck the right balance between keeping Americans safe and protecting their privacy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "They help us prevent terrorist attacks." The Washington Post reported late on Thursday that federal authorities have been tapping into the central servers of companies including Google, Apple and Facebook. This following concerns sparked by a report that the U.S. National Security Agency had been mining phone records from millions of customers of a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.

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