News / USA

White House Releases Panel Report on US Surveillance Practices

White House Releases Panel Report on US Surveillance Practicesi
X
December 19, 2013
The White House has released an independent panel's review of U.S. intelligence practices, with recommendations that are expected to serve as a basis for a revision of policy procedures guiding the National Security Agency. President Barack Obama met with panel members Wednesday to discuss 46 recommendations they made on how to modify U.S. surveillance practices. Zlatica Hoke has more.
TEXT SIZE - +
Zlatica Hoke
— The White House has released an independent panel's review of U.S. intelligence practices, with recommendations that are expected to serve as a basis for a revision of policy procedures guiding the National Security Agency.  President Barack Obama met with panel members Wednesday to discuss 46 recommendations they made on how to modify U.S. surveillance practices. 
 
The White House stipulated that the administration is looking into ways of how to best use its intelligence gathering capabilities to protect U.S. national security without unnecessarily infringing on civil liberties and personal privacy.
 
The review panel recommended several measures for the better safeguarding of civil liberties and careful analysis of the consequences of collecting intelligence.  It also called for protection of the privacy of non-U.S. citizens.
 
Stephen Vladack, a law professor at American University in Washington, said that protecting non-U.S. citizens is important, and that even U.S. citizens abroad are not protected by the U.S. constitution.
 
"I think the real questions for non-citizens outside the United States is if there are ways to improve privacy protections and constraints on surveillance powers short of Constitutional invalidation, are there ways for Congress to legislate tighter safeguards to ensure that the NSA is not just vacuuming up all the information that it can, but that it’s only collecting information when it has a reason to," said Vladack.
 
At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama will not make any immediate decisions regarding the 300-page report.
 
"He is not going to make snap judgments. He is going to look at it and assess it.  The overall internal review won't be completed until January. After that, the president will have more to say about it, and more to say about the outcomes of that work," said Carney.
 
The review group worked under the director of national intelligence to examine NSA practices following allegations from former agency contractor Edward Snowden that the NSA collected data on telephone calls made by private citizens.  Carney acknowledged that Snowden's disclosures have had an effect, and pointed out that the president instigated the review with the intention of making changes in the U.S. surveillance program.
 
"Changes that will be important even as we make clear that the work that is done by the NSA and the other parts of the intelligence community is vital to the security of the United States and the American people and our allies, and that we will not compromise the work that we do on behalf of the security of the United States," said Carney.
 
President Obama defended U.S. surveillance programs in a speech in August, shortly after Snowden leaked some of the documents he allegedly stole from the NSA.
 
"I want to make clear once again that America is not interested in spying on ordinary people. Our intelligence is focused above all on finding the information that's necessary to protect our people and, in many cases, protect our allies," said Obama.
 
Obama has promised greater transparency on how and when the surveillance systems are used.
 
Snowden is currently in exile in Russia. He is wanted by the United States on charges of espionage, but his supporters hail his act for spurring a global discussion on security practices that affect ordinary citizens -- a discussion that many consider long overdue.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid