President Obama will unveil his proposed reforms to the nation’s surveillance programs in a speech next Friday, Jan. 17, the White House announced.
“He will be remaking remarks to discuss the outcomes of the work that has been done in the review process,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
The administration provided no details about a venue for the speech, where the president is expected to announce sweeping changes to the work of the National Security Agency (NSA).
Obama has spent recent weeks reviewing a series of 46 recommendations made by a White House review panel, which has called for additional transparency and privacy protections to be added to the controversial NSA surveillance programs.
According to early reports, the president is expected to call for a halt to the government collection of telephone metadata and ask phone companies or a third party to retain control of that information. Under that practice, the government would need to seek additional legal approval to review American’s phone histories.
The president will also reportedly call for additional oversight of the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, a document used to rank intelligence goals and used while making the decision on whether to surveil foreign heads of state.
That practice — revealed in documents obtained by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden — has led to diplomatic headaches for the White House in recent months.
Foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel — expressed outrage when newspapers reported that American intelligence had listened in on her mobile phone.
In recent days, the president and other top White House officials have met with lawmakers, members of the intelligence community, privacy advocates and tech companies ahead of the expected announcement.
On Friday, Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) called on Obama to halt the collection of phone records and reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court tasked with approving top-secret surveillance in a letter to the president.
Wyden and Udall were among a group of lawmakers who met with Obama on Thursday.
“We believe you have the authority to make many of these changes now, and we urge you to do so with reasonable haste to protect both our national security and the personal rights and liberties of US citizens,” they wrote. The Hill
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