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Washington, July 20, 2013
The US National Security Agency has reportedly reviewed and tightened its rules and procedures governing access of its employees to sensitive data in light of the recent revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden about the secret surveillance program.

According to the Washington Times, NSA director general Keith Alexander said that the agency can consider the idea of allowing telephone companies, rather than the agency, store the huge database of records that NSA collects every day from Americans' phone calls.

Alexander said that such a step might help tamp down fears that NSA is invading Americans' privacy.

In its alterations, NSA has greatly limited the access of computer technicians, like Snowden, and instituting a "two-man rule" for access to server rooms and reining in downloading privileges for certain types of data.

Alexander explained that NSA's future plans included encryption of the most sensitive data, so that even if it were stolen, it would not be accessible to the thief.

The deputy secretary of defense, Ashton B Carter said that the conditions that allowed Snowden to download and remove data without detection amounted to "a failure to defend NSA's own networks" and added that it was not an outsider hacking in, but an insider, the report added.