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Obama likely to accept change in spying on leaders

January 8, 2014 • National News


FILE – This June 6, 2013 file photo shows the sign outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. President Barack Obama is hosting a series of meetings this week with lawmakers, privacy advocates and intelligence officials as he nears a final decision on changes to the government’s controversial surveillance programs. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is expected to tighten restrictions on U.S. spying on foreign leaders and also is considering changes in National Security Agency access to Americans’ phone records, according to people familiar with a White House review of the nation’s surveillance programs.

Obama could unveil his highly anticipated decisions as early as next week. Ahead of that announcement, he is consulting with lawmakers, privacy advocates and intelligence officials who were invited to White House meetings Wednesday and Thursday.

“He’s at that stage still where he’s listening and discussing with a variety of stakeholders and appreciates very much the opinions and counsel he’s getting on this matter,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Among the changes Obama is expected to announce is more oversight of the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, a classified document that ranks U.S. intelligence- gathering priorities and is used to make decisions on scrutiny of foreign leaders. A presidential review board recommended increasing the number of policy officials who help establish those priorities, and that could result in limits on surveillance of allies.

Documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. was monitoring the communications of several friendly foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Login to read more

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