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Mixed Reaction On Obama's NSA Proposal

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BOZEMAN -

President Barack Obama is pulling in the reins on the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance programs.

Montana's congressional delegation has mixed reaction to the president's proposals.

President Obama is ordering new limits on the way the National Security Agency accesses Americans phone records.

Obama left out many key details on what he plans to do, such as who might take over as keeper of the vast number of phone records.

If the president gets what he wants, most changes would be made to the surveillance laws passed after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"As a Senator, I was critical of several practices, such as warrantless wiretaps," said Obama. "And all too often new authorities were instituted without adequate public debate."

Under the president's proposal, the phone records will still be collected, but the Secretive Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court will have to approve any time the NSA wants the data.

Montana Senator Jon Tester said he is happy with some of the changes Obama is implementing, but there still needs to be a discussion on Americans' privacy.

"Too many questions remain about the reach of intelligence agencies into Americans' private lives," Tester said in a statement. "Striking the right balance between national security and civil liberties is difficult, but the burden of proof must fall on the government and not on Americans going about their daily lives."

Congressman Steve Daines said in a statement the president isn't proposing enough changes.

"The only way to fully protect the American people's constitutional rights from government overreach is stopping the forced collection of personal phone records," said Daines. "President Obama's proposed changes are wholly insufficient in providing needed reforms and real privacy protections for the American people."

Obama defended the intelligence community's role in keeping the country safe, but said the U.S. has a special obligation to make sure its spying program wasn't hindering civil liberties.

Obama also pleaded to curb spying on our allies.

This comes after claims the NSA was spying on Brazil's President Dilma Rouseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

 

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