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White House releases NSA review by outside panel

English.news.cn   2013-12-19 07:43:03            

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- An outside panel appointed by U. S. President Barack Obama has outlined 46 recommendations to limit the National Security Agency's secret surveillance programs, but above all found the programs should stay in place, according to the review report released by the White House Wednesday.

The report was released by the White House following a meeting between Obama and the five members of the advisory panel on Wednesday morning, ahead of its original schedule of release.

"Because our adversaries operate through the use of complex communications technologies, the National Security Agency, with its impressive capabilities and talented officers, is dispensable to keeping our country and our allies safe and secure," wrote the executive summary of the 308-page report.

The panel has recommended "a series of significant reforms" with respect to surveillance of U.S. persons, including tighter limits of the NSA's controversial domestic telephone surveillance programs.

The panel recommends that the Congress should end the current bulk storage of telephone metadata, which "creates potential risks to public trust, personal privacy, and civil liberty." Instead, such metadata should be held either by private providers or by a private third party, in case the government might need such an access, said the panel in its report.

The report also recommends limits on spying on non-U.S. citizens and particularly foreign leaders, following diplomatic uproar aroused by the disclosures of U.S. snooping of the public and the leaders of other countries, including its European allies.

The panel recommends the government should consider five criteria before it makes the decision to conduct surveillance of foreign leaders, including whether there is a need to conduct such surveillance to assess "significant threats" to U.S. national security, as well as what would be the negative effects if the foreign leader or foreign citizens became aware of the surveillance.

The report also said the U.S. government should explore " understandings and arrangements" on intelligence collection guidelines and practices "with a small number of closely allied governments."

However, it is not clear whether those sweeping but modest recommendations will be enacted. The controversial surveillance programs have made headlines and triggered outrage home and abroad since they were first disclosed in June with the leaks by former defense contractor Edward Snowden.

The Obama administration has vowed to make some changes to the controversial surveillance programs, in an effort to rebuild public trust. But the president, supporters in Capitol Hill, and intelligence leaders have also defended the NSA's work in the past months.

Related:

U.S. tech executives press Obama on NSA surveillance

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Executives of leading tech companies on Tuesday pressed U.S. President Barack Obama to "move aggressively" to scale back the National Security Agency's electronic surveillance practice.

The executives of the high-tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and AT&T, met with Obama in the White House on Tuesday afternoon. Full Story

NSA domestic phone program likely unconstitutional: U.S. federal judge

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of domestic phone records is likely unconstitutional.

This is a first significant legal setback for the secret intelligence surveillance program since it was first revealed by defense contractor Edward Snowden in June. Full Story

Russia calls on int'l community to keep focus on Snowden's revelations

MOSCOW, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Friday called on the international community to remain focused on the problems highlighted by the information made public by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The information that the former National Security Agency (NSA) employee leaked could be just a tip of the iceberg, said Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights commissioner, Konstantin Dolgov, in a comment published on the ministry's website. Full story

Internet giants call on rein in U.S. gov't spy programs

BEIJING, Dec. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Leading Internet companies called for new legal restrictions on government spy programs with increasing threat both to their customers' privacy and their own business interests.

"The U.S. government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort and make things right," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Monday in a statement. Full story

U.S. spied on Netherlands from 1946 to 1968: Snowden documents

THE HAGUE, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- The United States spied on the Netherlands from 1946 to 1968, the Dutch NRC newspaper quoted Snowden documents as showing on Saturday.

It was not clear who was bugged, when it was or with what intentions. Whether the spying stopped after 1968 was unclear either, according to documents of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden. Full story

South American countries take steps to prevent U.S. spying

CARACAS, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- South American countries are making plans to set up an exclusive internet network in face of increasing threats from U.S. spying agencies, officials said.

The 12-member Union of South American Nations (Unasur) are taking steps to build a digital communications platform which is designed, administered and used only by Unasur nations, Manuel Fernandez, Venezuelan minister of science, technology and innovation, said here Thursday. Full story

Editor: Yamei Wang
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