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US President backs possible surveillance reforms in the wake of NSA controversy

09/08/13 23:45 CET

US President Barack Obama says he would embrace reforms to oversee NSA surveillance programmes, which have caused controversy since details were leaked by former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden. The President has been facing criticism even from within his own party.

“We can and must be more transparent,” Obama told reporters.

“To other around the world, I wanna make clear – once again – that America is not interested in spying on ordinary people. Our intelligence is focused above all on finding the information that is necessary to protect our people and in many cases to protect our allies,” The President added.

Obama also said he does not believe that Snowden, who has been granted asylum in Russia, is a patriot.

Snowden is still wanted in the US to face espionage charges.

Meanwhile the email service-provider reportedly used by the ex-contractor has gone offline. It is believed the Lavabit shutdown is in connection with an attempt by the US government to obtain customer information.

In addition to protests against the NSA programmes in a number of countries, a survey by American news network ABC and the Washington Post shows the number of Americans who support unlimited surveillance by the state has fallen by 11 percent.

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