President Obama announced plans Friday to pursue reforms that would open the legal proceedings surrounding the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs to greater scrutiny, the administration’s most concerted response yet to a series of national security disclosures.
At his first full news conference in more than three months, Obama said he intends to work with Congress on proposals that would add an adversarial voice — effectively one advocating privacy rights — to the secret proceedings before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Several Democratic senators have proposed such a measure.
In addition, Obama will say that he intends to work on ways to tighten one provision of the Patriot Act – known as Section 215 – that gives the government broader authority to obtain business phone data records. He will announce the creation of a panel of outsiders — former intelligence officials, civil liberty and privacy advocates, and others — to assess the programs and suggest changes by the end of the year.
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