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Congress relishes greater role in NSA reforms

Published on Jan 18, 2014 6:08 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US lawmakers were poised on Friday to seize a chance to take the initiative in reforming America's vast digital surveillance network, after President Barack Obama opened the door to them.

Under pressure after fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of National Security Agency's global dragnet, Mr Obama promised new privacy safeguards on Friday.

But members of Congress will also now be drawn in to oversee the roll-out of broader reforms aimed at regulating the government's data gathering powers and protecting US citizens' private calls.

"Now is the time for Congress to improve how it executes its constitutional oversight duties," Senator John McCain said, adding that a Senate select committee would examine the efforts.

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