Foreign leaders welcome Obama's NSA reforms

Foreign leaders have welcomed US President Barack Obama's announcement on plans to curb the National Security Authority's powers. US agencies will only use bulk collection of data to fight terrorism, protect troops and allies, and combat crime.

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Agencies to continue collecting data on other countries

US intelligence will continue to gather information about the intentions of other governments, and will not apologise simply because US spy services are more effective, President Obama said as he announced reforms to US surveillance programmes.

Mr Obama warned that "we cannot unilaterally disarm our intelligence agencies." He added, "We know that the intelligence services of other countries - including some who feign surprise over the Snowden disclosures - are constantly probing our government and private sector networks."

But he said the US must be held to a higher standard. "No one expects China to have an open debate about their surveillance programmes, or Russia to take the privacy concerns of citizens into account."

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