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Obama panel recommends limits on NSA surveillance
Dec 19, 2013

A presidential task force has urged President Obama to impose significant curbs on National Security Agency operations, including an end to bulk collection of domestic telephone records, reform of a secret surveillance court and limits to spying on close foreign allies.

Another recommendation would limit NSA eavesdropping on leaders of closely allied nations. The disclosure that the NSA secretly monitored cellphones of leaders in Germany, Mexico, Brazil and elsewhere has caused a furor in those countries and chilled diplomatic relations with Washington.

Before such leaders are monitored in the future, the report recommends, the White House should impose a screening process that weighs the potential economic and diplomatic costs if the operation becomes public.

The advisors' most significant proposal would stop the NSA from collecting and archiving hundreds of millions of domestic telephone phone records that show the date, time and numbers called. The NSA and its supporters say the program is critical to determine whether terrorists or spies are communicating with people in the United States.

The report recommends that information about Americans phone calls, texts and e-mails no longer be held by the NSA but instead by a third party.

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