It turns out the National Security Agency's(NSA) ability to gather information goes much further than just collectingphone records.
The Washington Post has uncovered amassive spying program capable of uncovering virtually anything an individualdoes on the internet.
According to top secret documentsleaked to the Post, the NSA can tap directly into the servers of nine biginternet companies. This allows them to do anything from extract photos,e-mails, and web surfing data to even listen in on audio and video chats.
President Obama says the NSAmonitoring of phone records and internet activities has been in place since2006 and congress signed off on it.
"Nobody is listening to phone calls,that's not what this program is about," said the President.
"With respect to the internet andemails, this does not apply to U.S. citizens, and it does not apply to peopleliving in the United States," he said.
The post says the whistle blowerrevealed the program to them because he believes it was a massive violation ofprivacy.
President Obama says his administration is trying tostrike a balance between keeping Americans safe and privacy concerns.