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What’s the problem with PRISM? – Yahoo! News

By Matt Apuzo

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the federal government went looking for phone numbers tied to terrorists, it grabbed the records of just about everyone in America.

Why every phone number?

“Well, you have to start someplace,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told NBC News on Monday. That breadth, that willingness to sweep up enormous information on Americans with no ties to terrorists, is making it hard for the Obama administration to tamp down controversy over a separate program, called PRISM, to monitor Internet traffic.

In short, critics ask, if looking for terrorists means collecting every American’s phone records, how can anyone believe the president when he says Americans aren’t being monitored on the Internet? “These things are very narrowly circumscribed,” Obama said. “They’re very focused.”

The Internet program came to light last week in documents published by The Washington Post and Guardian newspapers. It allows the NSA to reach into the data streams of U.S. companies — Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Google and others — and grab emails, video chats, pictures and more.

Read the Rest @ What’s the problem with PRISM? – Yahoo! News.

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