President advised to curb spying

Published: Friday | December 20, 2013 Comments 0

WASHINGTON (AP):

If President Barack Obama follows even half of the recommendations urged by his advisory panel, the National Security Agency (NSA) would significantly change the way it does business.

The collection of United States phone records and the spying on other governments and their citizens would continue. But Americans' phone records would be held by phone companies, not the NSA, and multiple court orders, rather than just one, could be required before the information could be searched.

Other changes: The president would have to sign off personally on spying on foreign leaders, and foreigners would have greater rights not to be spied upon. Foreign countries could enter into do-not-spy agreements with the US. The White House would have to sign off on spying on just about anything deemed sensitive.

extensive report

The 300-page report released Wednesday by a five-member panel of intelligence and legal experts proposed 46 recommendations that, taken together, call for more oversight of the government's vast spying network. Still, few programmes would be ended.

Obama is not bound by a single recommendation. He's already rejected one of them - that oversight of the NSA and the Cyber Command be split, allowing a civilian to head the NSA. The White House said he is considering the other recommendations.

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