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Utahn's react to NSA program fallout

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Utahn's are reacting to President Obama's speech Friday morning about the government tapping into phone records.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) -  Utahn's are reacting to President Obama's speech Friday morning about the government tapping into phone records.

The president talked about the controversial NSA organization.  It has been under fire since whistle blower Edward Snowden stole and released documents that proved millions of American's were being spied on. 

"I defenitely like having some privacy.  I think they have their fingers in a little to many things," says Utah resident Rachelle Davis. 

The $1.5 billion NSA Utah Data Center is still under construction in Bluffdale. It is known as the "Bumblehive" by the intelligence community but to residents it is a spy center.

"I'm sure that they have been doing it for years and that they will continue to do it for years," said Celest Muai. 

Senator Orrin Hatch had this to say about the program.

            “I appreciate the President speaking to the American people today and outlining changes to our National Security Agency and some of its programs. I look forward to studying the President’s proposal closely but the simple fact is that there are many people out there that seek to harm or kill Americans, and our intelligence community is among those on the front lines tasked with keeping Americans safe. These programs have been in place for years with his support, so I hope the President didn’t make this decision to alter it because of political pressure.” 

The president did not say how the government will deal with the millions of phone records that were gathered.  

Danielle Davis said it's ok if they keep the records, "I kind of think they should.  It's kind of good to keep America safe.  I can see why some people would be upset about it but it's for our protection."

It is a protection that congress will have to oversee said Congressman Jim Matheson. 

      “President Obama’s plan to review the National Security Agency’s intelligence gathering programs is an important step forward after many concerns have arisen about maintaining the privacy of American citizens.  However, Congress should exercise active oversight of the NSA - especially in determining the right balance between protecting our country from external threats and making certain we respect and honor basic civil liberties here at home.”

When it comes to the national security of the country and terrorism one of Utah's residents believes we can be proactive in another way.

"I think that if we were doing our job that would be handled in advance of getting in front of our individual rights," said Cameron Mercer.  

Senator Mike Lee adds,

 "The president's speech is an acknowledgment that the current state of government surveillance is untenable, but he hasn't gone far enough and we still need Congress to act. I will continue to pursue legislative avenues, such as the bipartisan USA Freedom Act, to ensure greater oversight and transparency and protect Americans' privacy." 

The NSA Utah Data Center is said to be used to house international intelligence information, though it is unclear what it will hold due to national security.  The roll backs the president talked about today may not even effect what they do in the center.

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