18:52 GMT07 July 2020
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    US President Barack Obama has expanded the powers of the US intelligence and law enforcement agencies, providing them with a greater access to globally intercepted communications data, a document obtained by media read.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A copy of the 23-page document, that softens limits on sharing the information on foreign targets collected by the National Security Agency with the government's intelligence agencies, was obtained and published by the New York Times on Thursday.

    "Section 2.3 of the Executive Order… allows an Intelligence Community (IC) element (IC element) to disseminate information to other appropriate IC elements 'for purposes of allowing the recipient element to determine whether the information is relevant to its responsibilities and can be retained by it…' The purpose of these Procedures is to enable IC elements to conduct their international security missions more effectively by providing them with access to raw SIGINT from NSA…," the document entitled "Procedures for the availability or dissemination of raw signals intelligence information by the National Security Agency under Section 2.3 of Executive order 12333" said.

    The initiative has previously been criticized by privacy advocates and whistleblowers.

    The issue of surveillance has become acute in the United States since 2013, when US whistleblower Edward Snowden started revealing classified documents pertaining to mass surveillance practices carried out by US NSA around the globe.

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    intelligence, National Security Agency (NSA), Barack Obama, United States
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