News / USA

White House Releases Panel Report on US Surveillance Practices

White House Releases Panel Report on US Surveillance Practicesi
X
December 19, 2013 1:22 PM
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.
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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid