WASHINGTON -- A presidential task force has urged the
The five-member panel said their 46 recommendations were designed to add transparency, accountability and oversight over the NSA, a secretive electronic spying agency that has operated in the shadows even as its ability to intercept Internet traffic and eavesdrop on other communications has burgeoned in recent years.
“What we’re saying is, ‘Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should,’” task force member Richard Clarke, a former counter terrorism advisor to President
Another task force member, Michael Morell, who recently retired as acting head of the
Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that the NSA's bulk collection of domestic telephone records, which Snowden revealed, probably violates the Constitution.
The White House officials said they will review the report in coming weeks, and Obama will announce in January which of the recommendations he will approve and which he won't.
“It’s a substantive, lengthy report, and it merits serious review and assessment,” spokesman
Obama won't make any "snap judgments," another aide said, but will review it over his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.
Among the most controversial recommendations comes in direct response to Snowden’s disclosure in that the NSA had secretly monitored communications of 35 foreign leaders, including German Chancellor
The report recommends a new process to approve such sensitive intelligence operations. It said officials should answer five questions before proposing to eavesdrop on a foreign leader, including whether that leader is suspected of lying to U.S. officials.
The White House already has disregarded one of the panel’s recommendations. The panel said the NSA and the
The White House announced last week it would continue the current practice of appointing the same commander for both posts when Gen. Keith Alexander, who currently holds the double-position, retires in coming months.
The report was released after a morning meeting between Obama and the five task force members in the Situation Room, officials said.