President Obama will call Friday for significant changes to the way the National Security Agency collects and accesses telephone metadata of U.S. citizens, moving to transition away from government control of the information and requiring the government to obtain a court order to access it, a White House official said.

In his speech at the Justice Department, Obama plans to say the NSA’s metadata program remains a critical tool for U.S. intelligence agencies to root out and prevent terrorist activities.

But he also will say that the United States should be able to “preserve those capabilities while addressing the privacy and civil liberties concerns” raised by recent disclosures in the media about the government control of the metadata, the official said.

The NSA's bulk collection of phone metadata has been a particularly contentious issues since it was disclosed by documents shared with the media by Edward Snowden.

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