Obama Tries To Reassure Europeans Over Surveillance Programs

09/04/2013 10:32 am ET | Updated Nov 04, 2013

STOCKHOLM — President Barack Obama is reassuring Europeans that the U.S. is not snooping through their emails or eavesdropping on their telephone calls.

Obama says U.S. surveillance programs that became public knowledge after a government contractor leaked details about them are meant to help improve America's understanding of what's happening around the world. He acknowledged that the programs haven't always worked as intended and said steps have been taken to "tighten them up."

Europeans, who place a premium on privacy, were outraged by the programs.

At a news conference Wednesday on his first visit as president to Sweden, Obama assured Europeans that the U.S. isn't spying on them. He says additional changes to the programs may be required and that his national security team along with an independent board is reviewing everything.

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