Regarding the Jan. 18 front-page article “Restrictions rely on narrow definition of ‘spying’ ”:

President Obama got it almost right with his measured plan to restrict the use of Americans’ metadata while allowing for gathering and interpreting phone records where deemed necessary by those skilled in intelligence-gathering. 

Though pressured into reform by Edward Snowden’s leaks and the American Civil Liberties Union’s frenetic grumbling about Fourth Amendment rights that followed, Mr. Obama managed to convince those of us who doubt his foreign policy prowess that he does get it, to some extent. We are at the mercy of those who are threatened by our beliefs and who would act to see us weakened, damaged or obliterated. Intelligence-gathering is essential in dealing with nascent or imminent threats to our security. It is that simple.

It is naive to believe our personal information will remain private. The recent breaches of our financial transactions with once-trusted stores provide us with a view into our privacy future. Laws will be crafted to attempt to control incursions on our personal data, but intelligence-gathering should not be hobbled by those with a misplaced fear of their government at work.

Barbara Balbiani, Chevy Chase