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Advisory panel recommends more oversight for NSA

In this Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., presides over his committee's hearing on "Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities," on Capitol Hill in Washington.
In this Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., presides over his committee's hearing on "Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities," on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — If President Barack Obama follows even half of the recommendations urged by his advisory panel, the National Security Agency would significantly change the way it does business.

The collection of U.S. phone records and the spying on other governments and their citizens would continue. But Americans' phone records would be held by phone companies, not the NSA, and multiple court orders, rather than just one, could be required before the information could be searched.

A 300-page report released Wednesday by a five-member panel of intelligence and legal experts proposes 46 recommendations that, taken together, call for more oversight of the government's vast spying network. Still, few programs would be ended.

Obama is not bound by a single recommendation but the White House says he is considering them.