A presidential advisory committee examining the National Security Agency has concluded that a program to collect data on every phone call made in the U.S. should continue, though under broad new restraints that would be intended to increase privacy protections, the New York Times reports. The committee's report argues for codifying and publicly announcing steps the U.S. will take to protect the privacy of foreign citizens whose telephone records, Internet communications or movements are collected by the NSA.
It is unclear how far that effort would go, and intelligence officials have argued that they should be under few restrictions when tapping the communications of non-Americans abroad, who do not have constitutional protections under the Fourth Amendment. President Obama apologized to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany for the NSA's monitoring of her calls over the past decade, promising that the actions had been halted and would not resume. He refused to make the same promise to the leaders of Mexico and Brazil. Administration officials say the White House has already taken over supervision of that program. “We're not leaving it to Jim Clapper anymore,” said one official, referring to the director of national intelligence.