President Obama expected to lay out reforms to NSA surveillance

Friday, January 17, 2014 - 7:51am

President Barack Obama was expected to announce much-anticipated reforms to the National Surveillance Agency’s programs Friday morning. Ever since Edward Snowden started leaking information about the program, people around the world have demanded stricter regulation.

The NSA said monitoring helps them track down terrorists and protect our country.

"We can and should take steps to make the activities we engage in, in order to help keep America safe and Americans safe," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

Critics said Americans should know more and that the surveillance violates privacy rights.

"Its terribly invasive, it’s wrong, it’s unconstitutional and it’s gotta end," said Laura Murphy with the ACLU.

"We could have been a lot more candid with the American people upfront about this program," Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, (D) Rhode Island.

Information leaked by former NSA contractor Snowden said the agency has been collecting phone records, nearly 200 million text messages a day and spying on world leaders.

"I believe Edward Snowden deserves more respect than he gets because he exposed what was going on," said Chris Gray.

Gray said lawmakers need to put tighter restrictions on government spying.

"It’s up to congress to put a collar on them so they don't go too far. They're like an attack dog trained too well. If you don't put a collar on them, they're gonna eat people," said Gray.

The president is expected to back the spying programs but call for more transparency and oversight. He may extend privacy protections to foreigners and limit spying on world leaders.

His speech was expected at 9 a.m. (MT) Friday.


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