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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Obama surveillance changes 'to reduce secrecy'

President Obama has announced reforms to US surveillance programmes, which would include new rules for the use of National Security Letters, forcing companies to provide information to the government without informing the subject of the investigation.

Under the plans, the reforms include:

  • A series of "concrete and substantial" reforms that the administration seeks to pursue with Congress.
  • Additional restrictions are to be placed on the government’s ability to retain, search, and use in criminal cases, communications between American and foreign citizens.
  • Amend how National Security Letters are used.
  • Mr Obama has asked the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Attorney General, to annually review any future opinions of the secret intelligence court and report to him on these efforts.
  • The President also ordered a transition that will end the bulk metadata programme as it currently exists, and find a way for the government to avoid holding this data.

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