Obama May Quit Spying on Allies

Dianne Feinstein's remark signals major policy shift
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2013 6:45 PM CDT
Updated Oct 29, 2013 7:30 AM CDT
US Will Stop Spying on Its Allies: Lawmaker
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks to the media after attending a meeting regarding National Security Agency programs, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 13, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – With European countries fuming over NSA surveillance, the White House is reconsidering its spying activities. Yesterday, Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she was calling for a "total review of all intelligence programs," and that the White House had assured her that "collection on our allies will not continue," the Wall Street Journal reports. A senior White House official tells the AP that isn't true, but says that Obama is considering at least ending surveillance on foreign heads of state, and has already made some unspecified policy changes.

Feinstein's statement is still significant, because she's been a major NSA defender, and receives regular intelligence briefings from the White House. But she said she was "totally opposed" to the surveillance of US allies. "It is clear to me that certain surveillance activities have been in effect for more than a decade and that the Senate Intelligence Committee wasn't satisfactorily informed," she said. (Read more NSA stories.)

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