U.S. President Barack Obama says he has ordered a review of the way U.S. spy agencies gather intelligence. It follows a string of embarrassing revelations which include bugging millions of phone calls. France, Germany and Spain are some of the countries now seeking explanations.
Obama's comments came during an interview with Fusion, a cable network joint venture between ABC and Univision on Monday.
He called for a review of the agency's operations, "to make sure that what they're able to do doesn't necessarily mean what they should be doing".
Obama said he is the "final user" of all intelligence gathered by the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies in the U.S. and that the White House gives the NSA "policy direction", but that "their capacities continue to develop and expand".
Meanwhile, a senior official said Tuesday that Obama is considering whether to ban U.S. spy agencies from eavesdropping on allied leaders, AFP reported.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the step was under consideration, but that no policy decisions had yet been finalized, as Obama awaits results of several already announced reviews into U.S. surveillance practices.
The Obama administration was under increasing political heat at home and abroad, as revelations based on leaks from fugitive intelligence analyst Edward Snowden threatened to sour ties with allies and complicate its foreign policy goals.
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