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USA: Obama suggests NSA spy policy could be reviewed02:04

USA: Obama suggests NSA spy policy could be reviewed

United States, Washington, D.C.
December 21, 2013 at 01:57 GMT +00:00 · Published

USA: Obama suggests NSA spy policy could be reviewed

US President Barack Obama weighed in on the ongoing saga of former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden Friday, saying he "will leave it up to the courts" on Snowden's case. His comments at his end-of-the-year press conference also suggested that the NSA's surveillance programme that collects millions of Americans' telephone records may be reviewed.

He said: "What I've also said, though, is that in light of the disclosures that have taken place, it is clear that whatever benefits the configuration of this particular program may have... may be outweighed by the concerns that people have on its potential abuse. And if that's the case, there may be another way of skinning the cat."

"So we just keep on going at this stuff and saying, 'Can we do this better? Can we do this more effectively?' I think that the panel's recommendations are consistent with that. So if you had a chance to read the overall recommendations, what they were very clear about is we need this intelligence. We can't unilaterally disarm. There are ways we can do it potentially that gives people greater assurance that there are checks and balances, that there's sufficient oversight, sufficient transparency. Programs like 215 could be redesigned in ways that give you the same information when you need it without creating these potentials for abuse."

Obama also asserted Snowden's revelations about NSA spying had done "unnecessary damage" to the United States.

USA: Obama suggests NSA spy policy could be reviewed02:04
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USA: Obama suggests NSA spy policy could be reviewed

US President Barack Obama weighed in on the ongoing saga of former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden Friday, saying he "will leave it up to the courts" on Snowden's case. His comments at his end-of-the-year press conference also suggested that the NSA's surveillance programme that collects millions of Americans' telephone records may be reviewed.

He said: "What I've also said, though, is that in light of the disclosures that have taken place, it is clear that whatever benefits the configuration of this particular program may have... may be outweighed by the concerns that people have on its potential abuse. And if that's the case, there may be another way of skinning the cat."

"So we just keep on going at this stuff and saying, 'Can we do this better? Can we do this more effectively?' I think that the panel's recommendations are consistent with that. So if you had a chance to read the overall recommendations, what they were very clear about is we need this intelligence. We can't unilaterally disarm. There are ways we can do it potentially that gives people greater assurance that there are checks and balances, that there's sufficient oversight, sufficient transparency. Programs like 215 could be redesigned in ways that give you the same information when you need it without creating these potentials for abuse."

Obama also asserted Snowden's revelations about NSA spying had done "unnecessary damage" to the United States.

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