President Barack Obama will reveal new measures in a news conference later this afternoon aimed at curbing the work of the National Security Agency.
NSA tracks nearly every phone call made and received in the US. It is expected Obama will reveal significant changes in the handling of what is known as the telephone “metadata” programme.
The US government in future will not hold the data. Obama is also set to announce that a judicial finding will be required should the government wish to query the database.
Damaging disclosures about US surveillance tactics by former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden eroded Americans’ confidence in their intelligence work.
Restoring faith in its work in the US is behind the changes Obama will announce.
It is understood other reforms will include scaling back on spying on foreign leaders after it was disclosed the US had eavesdropped on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.