Obama administration to formally review NSA online spying programs

In 60 days, a formal review group will weigh in on whether the NSA's spying capabilities infringe on the privacy rights of U.S. citizens.


Joe Kloc

Internet Culture

Published Aug 12, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 9:19 am CDT

The Obama administration has begun an official review of the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance technologies, Reuters reported.

President Barack Obama first announced plans to review the agency’s surveillance capabilities at a press conference on Friday. “We’re forming a high level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies,” he explained.

The review is one of a series of surveillance reforms the Obama administration has proposed in response to public outcry over the NSA’s massive international spying operations disclosed earlier this summer by former agency contractor Edward Snowden.

This group was launched today, the White House said in a statement.

Dubbed the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, the body is made up of outside experts who will, according to the White House, determine whether the NSA “optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.”

The team will issue an interim report in 60 days. I final report will be made on December 15 of this year.

“We need new thinking for a new era,” Obama said on Friday. “We now have to unravel terrorist plots by finding a needle in a haystack of global telecommunications, and meanwhile technology has given governments, including our own, unprecedented capability to monitor communications.”

Photo by MedillDC/Flickr


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*First Published: Aug 12, 2013, 6:51 pm CDT