At a news conference with [Australian] Prime Minister John Howard, Mr Bush again defended phone and e-mail monitoring as necessary to "connect dots to protect the American people" against Al-Qaeda terrorists.
"I’ve also been clear about the fact that we do not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval and that this Government will continue to guard the privacy of the American people," he said.
But Mr Bush responded carefully when asked about reports of a controversial program run by the National Security Agency (NSA) to compile a database with tens of millions of phone records supplied by US phone companies.
A reporter asked: "You’ve said that the Government is not trolling through the lives of innocent Americans, but why shouldn’t ordinary people feel that their privacy is invaded by the NSA compiling a list of their telephone calls?"
The President responded, "The program he’s asking about is one that has been fully briefed to members of the United States Congress in both political parties. They’re very aware of what is taking place."
From: Bush admits anti-terror data base