11 Jan 2014

Little change to NSA practices tipped

12:49 pm on 11 January 2014

US President Barack Obama has reportedly indicated that he plans to seek little change to a National Security Agency programme that collects masses of raw data on domestic telephone calls.

Two Congressional sources say that when Mr Obama met members of Congress on Thursday he left them with the impression he wants the NSA to continue to collect bulk metadata on telephone use in the United States.

The meeting was called to discuss reforming how US intelligence agencies collect such data following disclosures by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor who is now in Russia.

Mr Obama will announce decisions on reforms in a speech on 17 January in which officials say he is likely to announce measures to curb or restrict US spying on foreign leaders.

"The president's been clear throughout this review process that we will not harm our national security or our ability to face global threats. And our intelligence gathering activities are directly related to our ability to face those global threats and protect our national security," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Federal district courts recently issued conflicting rulings on the legality of collecting domestic phone records.