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Snowden revelations force Obama’s hand on surveillance program

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Chuck Todd, Kelly O’Donnell and Carrie Dann
NBC News
August 9, 2013

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Analysis — NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s revelations have forced President Barack Obama’s hand, leading the president to announce new reforms of the government’s classified surveillance programs.

After his administration issued repeated defenses of a National Security Agency monitoring program that collects Americans’ phone and Internet data, Obama announced during a press conference Friday afternoon that reforms to the system will make the collection activities more transparent and “give the American people additional confidence that there are additional safeguards against abuse.”

Obama said the changes will include changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court system — which currently greenlights requests for data gathering — as well as the creation of both an internal NSA position devoted to privacy and an external working group to evaluate transparency in the program. Officials will also launch a new website next week that will serve as “a hub for further transparency” for interested members of the public.

“Given the history of abuse by governments, it’s right to ask questions about surveillance by governments, particularly as technology is reshaping every aspects of our lives,” he said.

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This article was posted: Friday, August 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm





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