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Aug 9, 2013 3:08 PM by NBC News

Obama: New oversight but no change to spying power

OBAMA PLEDGES MORE OVERSIGHT OF NSA SURVEILLANCE

President Barack Obama says he'll work with Congress to change the oversight of some of the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance programs and name a new panel of outside experts to review technologies.

Specifically, Obama says he wants to work with Congress to insert an opposing voice into arguments before the secret court that approves massive government surveillance efforts. The court currently hears only from Justice Department officials who want the surveillance approved.

The secret court and other surveillance programs have been under scrutiny since NSA leaker Edward Snowden revealed classified programs in June. The government has defended these programs as necessary to prevent terror attacks.

Speaking to reporters, Obama says the government can and must be more transparent in how it conducts surveillance.

OBAMA ENCOURAGES PUTIN TO LOOK FORWARD, NOT BACK
President Barack Obama says he's encouraging Russian President Vladimir Putin to, quote, "think forward instead of backwards" in strained relations with the United States.

Obama held a White House news conference Friday. Obama says he realizes relations between the two super powers have been difficult lately. He says progress was being made until Putin regained the Russian presidency. Now Obama says there have been "a number of emerging differences," including over Syria and human rights.

The White House this week cancelled a planned summit between Obama and Putin next month in Moscow. That's in part because Russia is refusing to return National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to the U.S. to face charges of leaking national security secrets.

OBAMA: NSA LEAKER EDWARD SNOWDEN NOT A PATRIOT
President Barack Obama says National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is not a patriot for revealing widespread government surveillance programs.

Obama says he called for a review of the secret surveillance programs before details of documents Snowden leaked to reporters were publicized in June. He says Snowden's disclosures prompted a faster and more passionate response than if Obama had just appointed a board to review the policies.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Obama said he wants more oversight of the intelligence community's surveillance programs to strike a balance between protecting Americans safety and their privacy.

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