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White House: We cannot tell you about our procedures to prevent abuse of your data

Firewall lock on mainboard , concept background

Here’s a very telling passage from Barton Gellman’s Washington Post story today about the National Security Agency titled “U.S. surveillance architecture includes collection of revealing Internet, phone metadata”:

Foreigners, not Americans, are the NSA’s “targets,” as the law defines that term. But the programs are structured broadly enough that they touch nearly every American household in some way.&nbsp;Obama administration officials&nbsp;and career intelligence officers say Americans should take comfort that privacy protections are built into the design and oversight, but they are not prepared to discuss the details. (Emphasis added.) The White House, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment on the record for this article. A senior intelligence official agreed to answer questions if not identified.

Bear in mind, the apparent point of that passage is to reassure US citizens.

Read the whole story here.