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Obama promises to boost oversight of NSA surveillance operations

President Obama says he had called for a 'thorough review' of NSA surveillance even before Edward Snowden's actions, but that the leaks 'triggered a much more rapid and passionate response.' 

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President Obama answers questions during his news conference in the East Room of the White House on Friday. The president said he'll work with Congress to change the oversight of some of the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance programs and name a new panel of outside experts to review technologies.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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In a move tinged with irony, President Obama announced a series of measures Friday aimed at boosting oversight and transparency in America’s national security surveillance apparatus.

The president said he had called for a review of surveillance operations before Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, had leaked aspects of the programs to news media. And thus, he suggested, his new measures did not provide justification for Mr. Snowden’s actions.

“No, I don’t think Mr. Snowden was a patriot,” Mr. Obama said in a press conference in the ornate East Room of the White House, as he prepared to leave for summer vacation.

 
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