WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- White House spokesman Jay Carney Thursday said the National Security Agency is not reading the email of Americans on a routine basis.
Asked at the daily press briefing if "Joe Schmoe from Kokomo wants to know if when he sends an email overseas, is it being read. What would you say?" Carney responded, "It's not being read."
Carney said the NSA collects only what it is authorized to collect and does not knowingly target U.S. residents.
"If communications of U.S. persons are incidentally collected, the agency must follow minimization procedures that are approved by the U.S. attorney general and designed to protect the privacy of U.S. persons," Carney said.
"These procedures require NSA to minimize the acquisition processing, retention and dissemination of information of or concerning U.S. persons. The purpose of the program is to investigate and potentially prevent terrorist threats emanating from foreign sources."