Obama pledges more oversight over surveillance programs

Updated: 2013-08-10 15:19


  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Obama's move came ahead of his week-long summer vacation. The announcement of the new measures is the first of its kind coming in response to the backlash over Snowden's leaks over two months ago.

US Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee and is a defender of the NSA programs, also announced on Friday the committee will hold a series of hearings in the fall to review "all intelligence data-collection programs involving Americans."

Same defense, better place?

However, Obama's new proposals also showed he had no intention to stop or cancel the controversial spying programs which have sparked fierce debate at home and abroad.

As he and senior intelligence officials have claimed before, Obama once again defended the legitimacy of the NSA programs and their role in thwarting terrorist plots, saying they "provided valuable intelligence" and were "worth preserving."

"As I've said, this program is an important tool in our effort to disrupt terrorist plots, and it does not allow the government to listen to any phone calls without a warrant," said Obama.

He said he had called for a thorough review of the surveillance operations even before Snowden made the leaks.

"My preference, and I think the American people's preference, would have been for a lawful, orderly examination of these laws - a thoughtful fact-based debate that would then lead us to a better place," said Obama.

When asked about the leaker, Obama said, "I don't think Mr. Snowden was a patriot."

He called on Snowden, who has been charged by the US federal authorities with espionage and granted one-year asylum by Russia, to return to the country and face trial.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page