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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Washington (AFP) – President Barack Obama said Friday he welcomed a debate on the role of the National Security Agency, but that leaks by Edward Snowden had caused “unnecessary damage” to U.S. intelligence capabilities.

Obama refused to be drawn at a year-end press conference on the possibility of amnesty or a presidential pardon for the fugitive IT contractor, who has been indicted on espionage charges.

“As important and as necessary as this debate has been, it is also important to keep in mind that this has done unnecessary damage to U.S. intelligence capabilities and U.S. diplomacy,” Obama told reporters.

Intelligence chiefs say Snowden’s revelations, made via several media outlets, inflicted significant damage on U.S. clandestine operations against terror groups, while deeply embarrassing the Obama administration.

On Wednesday, a panel of legal and intelligence experts chosen by the White House recommended curbing the powers of the NSA, warning that its mass spying sweeps in the war on terror have gone too far.

The report said the NSA should halt the mass storage of domestic phone records, and called for new scrutiny on snooping on world leaders plus privacy safeguards for foreigners and fresh transparency over U.S. eavesdropping.

The 300-page report unveiled 46 recommendations to reshape U.S. surveillance policy following the explosive revelations by Snowden, which outraged U.S. allies and civil liberties advocates.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Sand_Cat

    I’m sure the nature of the “significant damage” is classified.

    • Independent1

      But of course. Don’t you think Snowden’s revelations informed terrorists around the world about just how much the NSA new about them and their activities. So that they now know to keep and even lower profile, and maybe even how to around some of the NSA’s monitoring? And if Snowden’s revelations result in Congress curbing some of the NSA’s monitoring, do you not suppose that that too will help terrorists in planning and successfully executing another major attack on America??

      There are millions of Americans who are too clueless to realize that their local phone company, and their internet service provider (e.g. Google) and the local stores or websites they were accustomed to visiting, knew practically everything about them that the NSA did. Have you done any shopping on the internet lately? Only to within minutes see advertisements appear on other website you visitied for exactly the products or services you had been searching for??

      Any American who truly believes that they have one ounce of privacy in the world today, are in fact truly delusional. If the fanatics that are up in arms about the NSA’s surveillance really want privacy, they better start looking for that island in the Pacific which has absolutely no communication with the outside world. Either that, or come to the realization that they’d better to learn to live with less privacy or see more 9/11s happen sooner than later.