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Panel Hands Obama US Surveillance Report: Official


WASHINGTON – A review panel handed President Barack Obama a report on surveillance by US spy agencies Friday in the wake of explosive revelations on US phone and Internet sweeps by fugitive Edward Snowden.

The report contains more than 40 recommendations the White House will consider, and Obama will make a speech after a full scale administration internal review of US eavesdropping activity concludes in January, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

The report is said to recommend a continuation of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs, which have alarmed US allies and civil liberties groups, but with some new privacy safeguards included.

The White House will study the work of the five-man panel and decide which recommendations to adopt, which require further study and which will not be taken up, Hayden said.

The report looks at how, following technological advances, Washington can use its intelligence capability to guard national security while maintaining public trust.

Obama said last week that he would introduce some restraints on the NSA following the review.

A flurry of intelligence leaks from Snowden, who is living in temporary asylum in Russia, lifted the lid on a vast global spying network.

Tens of thousands of documents leaked by Snowden to The Guardian newspaper and other media outlets have detailed the vast scope of the NSA’s shadowy activities.

Snowden’s revelations made it clear that metadata and information from millions of emails and phone calls, some of it about American citizens, has been systematically raked in by the NSA.

Related: How Metadata Reveals More About You Than You Think


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