Obama updates UK's Cameron on intelligence reform plans


President Obama updated British Prime Minister David Cameron on his planned reform of U.S. intelligence practices in a phone call on Thursday, according to statements from the White House and Downing Street.

Obama is slated to present his response to a comprehensive administration review of its top-secret spy programs at a speech Friday morning at the Department of Justice.

The president is expected to unveil modest reforms to the most controversial intelligence programs, including the gathering of domestic metadata and international collection of Internet communications. He's also expected to call for an overhaul of the nation's security clearance practices, greater transparency for existing spy programs and the creation of high-level administration posts for privacy advocates.

But it remains somewhat unclear how Obama will alter some of the programs, which intelligence officials insist are crucial terror-fighting tools and privacy advocates argue are excessive and intrusive.

Neither the White House nor Downing Street gave much indication on Thursday following the call between Obama and Cameron.

According to the White House, "both leaders noted the intensive dialogue that the United States and United Kingdom have had on these issues, at all levels." And a British official said the pair "welcomed the unique intelligence sharing relationship between their two countries."

Earlier Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama's analysis "starts from the absolute commitment to maintaining the security of the American people ... as well as the commitments we have to our allies."

"He has also said that we can and should take steps to make the activities we engage in, in order to help keep America safe and Americans safe, more transparent, in order to give the public more confidence about the problems and the oversight of the programs," Carney said. "So that's the context in which he has deliberated over these issues."

In addition to the discussion of the intelligence programs, Cameron and Obama discussed a range of other security issues, including Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. 

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