Statement from the White House Deputy Press Secretary about the NSA

Below is the statement:

President Obama has long advocated greater transparency, stronger oversight and other reforms to give Americans confidence that our intelligence programs strike the right balance between protecting our national security and the privacy of our citizens. This Administration is committed to ensuring that privacy protections are carefully adhered to, and to continually reviewing ways to effectively enhance privacy procedures. The NSA documents being reported on today reflect work by NSA’s Compliance Office – an Office established in 2009 to ensure rigorous monitoring, detection, reporting and mitigation for compliance incidents specifically related to the protection of privacy rights. As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Feinstein has said today, the Committee has never identified an instance in which the NSA has intentionally abused its authority to conduct surveillance for inappropriate purposes not identified willful violations of the law; rather, the majority of the compliance incidents are unintentional. The documents demonstrate that the NSA is monitoring, detecting, addressing and reporting compliance incidents. We have been keeping the Congress appropriately informed of compliance issues as they arise and look forward to working with members in both parties on additional reforms that would further improve oversight and strengthen public confidence in these operations that are so critical to American national security.