2014-01-17T183410Z_1_CBREA0G1FL700_RTROPTP_2_USA-SECURITY-OBAMA

Obama takes swipe at Snowden in spy reform speech

U.S. President Barack Obama is seen through a teleprompter as he speaks about the National Security Agency from the Justice Department in WashingtonBy Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday took a swipe at Edward Snowden, the former U.S. spy contractor whose revelations about American surveillance practices tarnished relations with foreign allies and prompted reforms in Washington. Obama unveiled those reforms during a long-awaited speech that balanced pledges to increase privacy protections with a warning that intelligence gathering would continue. But the president could not get through his remarks without mentioning the man who, to the Obama administration’s chagrin, forced its hand in changing the system. “I will say that our nation’s defense depends in part on the fidelity of those entrusted with our nation’s secrets.” The White House has argued that Snowden – along with other whistleblowers – had other options for raising concerns about intelligence practices without making massive and damaging leaks.

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