NSA leaker Snowden to answer questions on exposed spying programs

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January 23, 2014, 5:48 am
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(NECN/NBC News: Tracie Potts) – There are several developments expected Thursday on the review of secret U.S. government spying programs.

Edward Snowden, the man who exposed NSA programs, is speaking out directly to the public for the first time since last summer.

In addition, a government task force will recommend some sweeping changes to how the National Security Agency does business.

Ultimately President Obama will decide how the NSA collects data and from whom.

Snowden will answer questions live Thursday afternoon about the government secrets he leaked to the world.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "It is our firm position that he ought to return to the United States and face the charges against him."

The spying programs Snowden exposed are now under heavy scrutiny.

In a report due out Thursday, a government task force is expected to recommend that the National Security Agency stop collecting Americans' phone records.

In a split decision, three to two, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will also say the government should purge its huge database.

In a speech last week, President Obama laid out reforms but stopped short of getting rid of the programs.

Obama said, "We cannot unilaterally disarm our intelligence agencies”

He added, "The Review Group turned up no indication that this database has been intentionally abused."

Verizon reported it's received more than a 1,000 requests from the government for customers' information last year.

Tags: barack Obama, Tracie Potts, NSA, Edward Snowden, leaker, collection, phone data
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