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White House panel to review NSA data gathering

By NBC News | Posted - Dec. 18, 2013 at 5:35 p.m.


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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC News) — Hoping to battle the bad publicity that began when leaker Edward Snowden went public six months ago, the White House is going public with its review of the National Security Administration's once-secret data-gathering programs.

"Given inaccurate and incomplete reports in the press about the report's content, we felt it was important to allow people to see the full report to draw their own conclusions," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

President Obama ordered an advisory panel to investigate N.S.A. practices in the days after Snowden revealed the stunning scope of the spy agency's collection of phone and internet data.

"Now, over the next several weeks we will review the group's report and its 46 recommendations as we consider the path forward," Carney said.

One of the key recommendations is that phone companies continue to collect data but not hand it over to the N.S.A. without a court order.

Tech industry CEO's who visited the White House for a health care summit on Tuesday told the President they're unhappy about being the NSA's middlemen.

And a federal judge this week ruled the blanket data gathering was unconstitutional.

"We simply don't need dragnet surveillance in order to be both safe and secure," said Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The report contains dozens of recommendations, but it's ultimately President Obama's call on where to draw the line for the National Security Administration.

While President Obama will make an executive decision next month, many legal observers expect a showdown in the Supreme Court.

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