Obama to defend U.S. surveillance programs in G8 talks, White House says

WASHINGTON Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:36pm EDT

Pro-democracy lawamaker Gary Fan holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), during a news conference in Hong Kong, in support of Snowden, June 14, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Pro-democracy lawamaker Gary Fan holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), during a news conference in Hong Kong, in support of Snowden, June 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will defend U.S. phone and internet surveillance efforts during G8 talks next week, explaining to other leaders the importance of the tools in fighting terrorism, and safeguards in place to prevent abuse of the data, said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security advisor, on Friday.

Rhodes acknowledged that European countries have privacy and civil liberties concerns, but told reporters that the United States and the members of the G8 share security interests and work together to prevent attacks.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Laura MacInnis; editng by Jackie Frank)

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