Obama Lays Out NSA Changes

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President Barack Obama on Friday laid out a vision of modest changes for the National Security Agency in a speech that will likely please neither reformers nor agency defenders.

The speech, which took place in the Great Hall of the Justice Department building, came more than seven months after the leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began. Acknowledging the public clamor those leaks have generated, the president nonetheless defended many of the agency’s most controversial programs as necessary in the fight against terrorism.

“The task before us now is greater than simply repairing the damage done to our operations; or preventing more disclosures from taking place in the future. Instead, we have to make some important decisions about how to protect ourselves and sustain our leadership in the world, while upholding the civil liberties and privacy protections that our ideals — and our Constitution — require,” Obama said.

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