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January 17, 2014 AT 8:59 AM
President Barack Obama ordered changes to intelligence-gathering practices that would prevent the government from storing broad collections of phone and electronic communication data. The president advocated that those records be stored by a third party but did not offer specifics about where they would be kept. He also proposed a new level of judicial approval for government access to those records. If adopted, the proposals represent a step back from the government’s claims to wide latitude in maintaining national security. "America’s capabilities are unique,” Obama said in the highly-anticipated speech at the Department of Justice. “That places a special obligation on us to ask tough questions about what we should do."