President Obama's "acknowledgement of the need for a full and public debate" has been welcomed by shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander.
Mr Alexander said that is no longer enough for oversight to be used as a reason by security services.
The very fact that President Obama has examined these issues is evidence that a debate is already under way in the US. So it is understandable that people here in the UK will welcome similar discussions of these issues.
Whilst of course the legal, accountability, and representative structures in the US are different from those that we have here in Britain, there is a need for a wider debate here in the UK about what ongoing reforms could be put in place to uphold effective oversight and accountability.