‘We Are Making Every Effort To Be Transparent,’ Says President
WASHINGTON—On the heels of reports that the National Security Agency has secretly been amassing the private telephone records of Verizon’s more than 120 million customers, President Barack Obama announced Thursday that his administration is releasing the entire country’s phone records to the public in an effort to handle the situation with complete transparency. “Honesty and openness have always been the hallmarks of my presidency, which is why I believe that everybody should have free access to this essential information,” the president said at a press conference, encouraging the public to visit a newly created online database containing the time, duration, and location of every wireless and landline phone call made by all 315 million Americans. “We—all of us—are laying our cards on the table here. Now, everyone in the country will know who’s calling whom, and when, and how often, and for how long. My administration doesn’t have any secrets, and from now on, neither will you.” Obama noted that, for the sake of national security, personal emails, consumer reports, and medical histories will remain the exclusive property of the federal government.