Jan. 17 - President Barack Obama announces plans for reforms to the National Security Agency's domestic and international surveillance programs. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama banned U.S. eavesdropping on the leaders of close friends and allies on Friday and began reining in the vast collection of Americans' phone data in a series of reforms triggered by Edward Snowden's revelations. In a major speech, Obama took steps to reassure Americans and foreigners alike that the United States will take into account privacy concerns that arose after former U.S. spy contractor Snowden's damaging disclosures about the sweep of monitoring activities of the National Security Agency (NSA). "The reforms I'm proposing today should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, even as our intelligence and law enforcement agencies maintain the tools they need to keep us safe," he said. The steps Obama put in motion are aimed at adapting regulations to keep up with rapid changes in surveillance technology that permit NSA analysts to monitor private communications globally. Among the list of reforms, Obama called on Congress to establish an outside panel of privacy advocates for the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court that considers terrorism cases. The former chief judge of the FISA court had opposed such a step.