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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • 5 things to know about Obama’s NSA speech

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  • President Barack Obama spoke Friday about the National Security Agency and announced a change to a telephone data collection program. Here are five things to know about his speech.
    1. Obama said the NSA’s telephone data collection program will be changed. Now, intelligence agents will need court approval to see phone records collected by the NSA. Previously they needed no such approval.
    2. The president called the NSA’s intelligence “vital” to the nation’s security, and no major changes were announced other than the phone one.
    3. Obama tried to calm fears of citizens by saying intelligence is not collected “for the purpose of suppressing or burdening criticism or dissent, or for disadvantaging persons based on their ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.” He added that the U.S. “is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security.”
    4. Obama wants Congress to OK the creation of an outside panel that would contribute to cases handled by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
    5. The president didn’t bow on his stance on Edward Snowden, who leaked government secrets and is currently in Russia. Obama said, “If any individual who objects to government policy can take it in their own hands to publicly disclose classified information, then we will never be able to keep our people safe, or conduct foreign policy.”
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