POLITICS: PennAve

Susan Rice talks NSA reform with Brazil's foreign minister

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Politics,White House,National Security,PennAve,NSA,Surveillance,Meghashyam Mali,Brazil,Foreign Policy,Dilma Rousseff

National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Thursday met with Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo at the White House to discuss President Obama's reforms to secret U.S. surveillance programs.

“During their meeting, Ambassador Rice outlined the results of the review of U.S. signals intelligence activities, and the reforms to be implemented as described by President Obama in his January 17th speech,” a White House statement said.

The meeting came after leaks about the National Security Agency's monitoring of phone and internet communications -- including those of world leaders -- sparked international outrage.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff postponed plans for a state visit to the United States after disclosures from former government contractor Edward Snowden revealed the NSA spied on her.

In a September meeting, Rice told Brazilian officials that they had “legitimate questions” about the NSA’s actions.

Obama has defended the NSA's practices, but in January announced a number of reforms to better balance national security and privacy interests.

Among Obama's changes are requiring the agency to seek a secret court warrant before accessing phone metadata and asking the Justice Department to consider ways to store that data outside of the government. Obama also placed new restrictions on NSA surveillance of foreign leaders.

The U.S. has sought to reassure allies in the wake of Snowden’s disclosures, and the White House on Thursday said that the U.S. and Brazil were “strategic partners that share deep commercial and cultural ties.”

“Ambassador Rice and Foreign Minister Figueiredo also discussed ways to strengthen our productive bilateral agenda with Brazil and exchanged views on global and regional issues of mutual interest,” the statement added.

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