Now that Americans are aware of something called PRISM that’s apparently been keeping a close eye on their Internet activity, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has declassified some information to clarify what he calls “significant misimpressions” left by media reports. However, national security interests preclude him from saying too much, other than to clarify that PRISM isn’t a data mining operation, but rather an internal government computer system.

Clapper’s other key point is that whatever is done with PRISM is done legally, and under the supervision of all three branches of government. And despite statements from Facebook and Google that they had never heard of PRISM before this week, the program is widely known. Aside from that, his statement today was a shot across the bow of the media, whose rush to report has made his job very difficult.

It’s going to take a lot more than today’s statement to placate the press, especially following the AP and Fox News spying scandals.

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