Obama meets privacy board on spy programs

June 21, 2013
US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference in Mexico City, May 2, 2013. Obama Friday meets members of a privacy watchdog board, finally fully active after years of delays, to discuss a furor over US spy agency Internet and telephone snooping.

US President Barack Obama Friday meets members of a privacy watchdog board, finally fully active after years of delays, to discuss a furor over US spy agency Internet and telephone snooping.

The meeting will take place in the secure Situation Room of the White House to allow classified information to be discussed, and comes as Obama pledges to permit a public debate about the scope of the programs.

"The president looks forward to hearing from members of the board about their areas of focus and discussing recent developments, including the disclosure of classified information," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Carney also said that in the coming weeks, Obama would be meeting various unidentified "stakeholders" in the debate to foster public discussion about the (NSA) programs.

The five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) was set in 2004 but has rarely been active. It has only recently been fully staffed, following years of partisan wrangling over its establishment.

It is an independent agency with a mission to analyze and review White House policies and actions on terrorism, and to ensure they are balanced with a need to protect civil liberties and privacy.

Obama has warned that to protect Americans from terrorism there must be some compromises regarding privacy but says he believes he has got the balance largely correct.

He said in Berlin on Wednesday that "lives have been saved" by the programs, details of which emerged in leaks to the and Guardian newspapers, and around 50 terrorist plots had been disrupted.

Obama has repeatedly explained that the controversial activity, which involves sweeping up data on phone and Internet traffic, does not delve into the specific content of the calls or emails.

Only if there are leads related to terrorism or the proliferation of would US agents ask a special court to allow them to look deeper into the records, he says.

Explore further: Twitter exec joining White House tech office

Related Stories

New reports allege vast US Internet spying sweep

June 7, 2013

US spies are secretly tapping into servers of nine Internet giants including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google in a vast anti-terror sweep targeting foreigners, explosive reports said Thursday.

Obama defends phone data collection program

June 7, 2013

President Barack Obama defended sweeping secret surveillance into U.S. phone records and foreigners' Internet use, declaring them a necessary defense against terrorism, and assuring Americans, "Nobody is listening to your ...

US spy chief: Plot against Wall Street foiled

June 18, 2013

The U.S. foiled a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange because of the sweeping surveillance programs at the heart of a debate over national security and personal privacy, officials said Tuesday at a rare open hearing ...

Recommended for you

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (3) Jun 21, 2013
In the situation room, the privacy advocates hear the following from Obama.
You will now agree there is nothing wrong with what I'm doing. If not, you will have your Taxes audited by the IRS, the DOJ will investigate drug usage as you called a known drug dealer 3 years ago, and of course we will let your wife know that it appears you have a mistress as you called a lady 5 times and drove to her home several times, and the media will find out that in High School you bullied Joe and that on a private facebook post you made a racist comment showing you are a bully and a racist.

Gotta love Metadata....Now go and tell the world I have done nothing wrong.
1 / 5 (2) Jun 22, 2013
Hey, freethinking, don't forget the EPA, the FBI, the NLRB, the FTC, the FEC, DHS, MediaMatters, et al, and the "unbiased", "objective" "news" media. They all want to play "destroy Obama's opposition" too.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.