President Obama avows that he welcomes a debate about the NSA, privacy, and national security. Before Edward Snowden's leak, Americans lacked the information necessary for that debate; Obama would strongly prefer that we were still oblivious to his domestic surveillance activities. Still, national-security officials right up to Obama himself continue to give the impression that they're eager to level with Americans about certain aspects of their behavior, if only to persuade the polity that what's happening every day isn't as alarming as we've been told.
Hence the NSA's decision to release 15 talking points about its interpretation of surveillance law. Lots of ground is covered -- do take a look -- but the document basically portrays a surveillance agency going to great lengths to avoid spying on the private communications of U.S. citizens.
There's just one problem: Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall say that at least one of the NSA's statements is inaccurate, and another one is misleading. "We were disappointed to see that this fact sheet contains an inaccurate statement about how the section 702 authority has been interpreted by the US government," they write. "In our judgment this inaccuracy is significant, as it portrays protections for Americans' privacy as being significantly stronger than they actually are."