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Obama defends secret surveillance

President Barack Obama has defended his government's secret surveillance, saying Congress has repeatedly authorised the collection of America's phone records and US internet use.

In his first comments since the programmes were publicly revealed this week, Mr Obama says safeguards are in place.

He says nobody is listening to the content of phone calls. And he says the internet targeting is aimed at foreign nationals, not American citizens.

Mr Obama says he increased some of the "safeguards" on the programmes after taking office. And he believes they help his administration stop terrorist attacks.

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