Obama Calls For Sweeping Reforms Of Govt Surveillance

(Washington, DC) -- President Obama is calling for sweeping reforms of the nation's surveillance activities.
In a speech at the Justice Department, the President defended U.S. intelligence efforts and said intelligence has helped secure the U.S. throughout its history. He noted that 9-11 prompted renewed efforts to improve intelligence gathering. He said it is "hard to overstate the transformation America's intelligence community had to go through after 9-11."
The President argued that the reformed intelligence apparatus has prevented terrorist attacks and saved lives but acknowledged growing concerns about government overreach and infringements on privacy rights. The NSA is at the heart of a national controversy over extensive eavesdropping and data mining. That controversy erupted when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden released extensive classified data. Facing criminal charges, Snowden fled the U.S. and was granted asylum by Russia. President Obama has spent weeks reviewing recommendations from a task force studying the NSA.
Additional Audio:
President Obama insisted government surveillance isn't aimed at ordinary citizens.
Obama said electronic suveillance is important, but it's not going to affect ordinary people.
Obama said suveillance efforts must continue.
Obama remarked that intelligence efforts can cast a wide net.
Obama said the intelligence community had to change from monitoring superpowers after the attacks of September 11th.
Obama remarked on the creation of the NSA.
Obama noted the importance of surveillance efforts.