Obama says will meet oversight board about NSA surveillance

WASHINGTON Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:49pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama glances at Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) during a news conference with European Union officials at the G8 summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland June 17, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

U.S. President Barack Obama glances at Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) during a news conference with European Union officials at the G8 summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland June 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Monday he will meet soon with a privacy and civil liberties oversight board to discuss ways to balance the need for U.S. surveillance while respecting people's right to privacy.

Obama, in an interview with PBS anchor Charlie Rose, said he believed there is plenty of transparency about the U.S. government's top-secret monitoring of Americans' phone and Internet data but that he has asked the intelligence community to see if there is more that can be revealed about it to reassure people.

"What I've asked the intelligence community to do is see how much of this we can declassify without further compromising the program. ... And they are in that process of doing so now," he said.

Obama has come under fire for the scope of surveillance by the National Security Agency revealed by former government contractor Edward Snowden.

He said in the interview, taped on Sunday and broadcast on Monday, that he would meet with members of a privacy and civil liberties oversight board that he had already established to start a dialogue on Americans' concerns about the program.

He said he wanted to set up a national conversation on the topic.

"The way I view it, my job is both to protect the American people and to protect the American way of life, which includes our privacy," he said.

Obama's approval rating among Americans has dropped eight percentage points over the past month, down to 45 percent, according to a CNN/ORC International poll. The fallout over the surveillance programs was cited as a reason.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (13)
totherepublic wrote:
Why don’t you meet with the House Oversight Committee, coward? Even the Senate Oversight, double coward? I am drooling thinking about the day he has to finally set in front of Issa with out a telepromter and FORCED to follow procedures laid out by House rules. At that time obama will think Putin is a pussy cat. It is comming you know.

Jun 17, 2013 8:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
faithnoman wrote:

Did a 5 year-old child steal your laptop?

Jun 17, 2013 8:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
stambo2001 wrote:
Notice how carefully they try and steer the conversation away from the simple question of the legality of openly and freely spying on other nations citizens, much less the Americans themselves. Time and again we see where the American’s consider their own rights and freedoms over the rights and freedoms of the other global citizens. This issue is HUGE and reverberates around the entire globe. If you live outside of the usa then you have NO rights to privacy at all to this administration. How exactly does the Government of the United States of America have the jurisdiction to spy on the citizens of France, England, Germany or any other sovereign country for that matter? You don’t think foreign governments are asking the very same questions?

Jun 17, 2013 8:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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