Obama on NSA reforms: "We will reform programs and procedures in place to provide greater transparency to our surveillance activities."

US President Barack Obama gave a speech on Friday about US government surveillance programs and changes being made to the National Security Agency throughout 2014.

Obama spoke on a number of issues and changes being implemeneted in the way the agency operates, and announced it will be curbing back on metadata.

During the speech, the US president emphasized the importance of the agency and said "throughout our history, intelligence has helped secure our country and our freedoms." He added "our nation’s defense depends in part on the fidelity of those entrusted with our nation’s secrets."

Speaking on US intelligence after the September 11 terrorist attacks, he said "we demanded that our intelligence community improve its capabilities."

Regarding issues concerning the government spying on it's citizens, the US president said "I maintained a healthy skepticism toward our surveillance programs after I became President."

Commenting on the upcoming changes, Obama said "I am confident that we can shape an approach that meets our security needs while upholding the civil liberties of every American."

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