Re Obamas surveillance limits dont go far enough (Editorials, Jan. 18): President Barack Obamas speech on the National Security Agency surveillance program was an attempt to divert our attention from the real problem: What is the need to vacuum and store every one of our communications? Fear seems to be the time-honored reason given. The president assured us that only the phone numbers are stored, not the contents of the communications. The president ought to watch reruns of HBO's "The Wire" and learn how drug dealers use disposable cell phones to avoid detection. If what the president said is true, then the NSA is storing garbage. The president also condoned the continued use of National Security Letters, which can be sent to federal agencies demanding information for national security. These letters are eerily similar to the letters de cachet issued by French monarchs to imprison or execute people without trial.
-- John Garon, Placerville