President Obama backs limits on NSA phone collections

President Barack Obama speaks during an end-of-the year news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. At the end of his fifth year in office, Obama's job approval and personal favorability ratings have fallen to around the lowest point of his presidency. Obama will depart later for his home state of Hawaii for his annual Christmas vacation trip. It's the first time in his presidency that his departure plans have not been delayed by legislative action in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

January 17, 2014 8:36:31 AM PST
President Barack Obama is ordering changes to the government's massive collection of phone records that he says will end the program "as it currently exists."

Obama says in a speech prepared for delivery at the Justice Department Wednesday that intelligence officials have not intentionally abused the program to invade privacy.

But he also says he believes critics of the program have been right to argue that without proper safeguards, the collection could be used to obtain more information about American's private lives and open the door to more intrusive programs.

Obama announced the changes after a months-long review spurred by former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden's leaks about secret surveillance programs.

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