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The global surveillance disclosure released to media by Edward Snowden has caused tension in the bilateral relations of the United States with several of its allies and economic partners as well as in its relationship with the European Union. On August 12, 2013, President Obama announced the creation of an "independent" panel of "outside experts" to review the NSA's surveillance programs. The panel is due to be established by the Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, who will consult and provide assistance to them. Keith B. Alexander, the director of the NSA, asserted that these media leaks had caused "significant" and "irreversible" damage to the national security of the United States and this "irresponsible" release of classified information will have a "long-term detrimental" impact on the intelligence community's ability to detect future attacks. According to a survey undertaken by the human rights group PEN International, these disclosures have had a chilling effect on American writers. Fearing the risk of being targeted by government surveillance, 28% of PEN's American members have curbed their usage of social media, and 16% have self-censored themselves by avoiding controversial topics in their writings. In September 2013, Senators Mark Udall, Richard Blumenthal, Rand Paul and Ron Wyden introduced a "sweeping surveillance reform" proposal. Called the most comprehensive proposal to date, the "Intelligence Oversight and Surveillance Reform Act" seeks to end the bulk collection of communication records made legal in section 215 of the Patriot Act and to reign in other "electronic eavesdropping programs". Wyden told the Guardian the Snowden disclosures have "caused a sea change in the way the public views the surveillance system". The draft bill is a blend of 12 similar proposals as well as other legislative proposals. At the end of October 2013 U.S. Senators introduced two different reform proposals. One, the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 3361/ S. 1599), would effectively halt "bulk" records collection under the USA Patriot Act, while it also would require a warrant to deliberately search for the e-mail and phone call content of Americans that is collected as part of a surveillance program targeting foreigners located overseas. Another would preserve the program while strengthening privacy protections. It would also codifying the requirement that analysts have a "reasonable articulable suspicion" that a phone number is associated with terrorism to query the NSA phone records database; requiring that the FISA court promptly review each such determination; and limiting the retention period for phone records. Both proposals share the introduction of a special advocate to promote privacy interests before the FISA court. According to the Guardian The Obama administration has yet to take a formal position on the USA Freedom Act, which supporters claim has 120 congressional co-sponsors but has yet to pass. American political commentators and public figures such as Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Michael Moore, Cornel West, Glenn Beck, Matt Drudge, Alex Jones, Andrew Napolitano, Oliver Stone, Michael Savage, and Stephen Walt praised Snowden for exposing secret government surveillance. Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower and leaker of the top-secret Pentagon Papers in 1971, stated in an interview with CNN that he thought Snowden had done an "incalculable" service to his country and that his leaks might prevent the United States from becoming a surveillance state. He said Snowden had acted with the same sort of courage and patriotism as a soldier in battle. In an op-ed the following morning, Ellsberg added that "there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material ... including the Pentagon Papers." Ray McGovern, a retired CIA officer turned political activist, agreed with Ellsberg and added, "This time today I'm feeling much more hopeful for our democracy than I was feeling this time yesterday." Thomas Drake, former senior executive of NSA and whistleblower, said that he feels "extraordinary kinship" with Snowden. "What he did was a magnificent act of civil disobedience. He's exposing the inner workings of the surveillance state. And it's in the public interest. It truly is." WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hailed Snowden as a "hero" who has exposed "one of the most serious events of the decade -- the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state." After charges against Snowden were revealed, Assange released a statement asking people to "step forward and stand with" Snowden. Following President Obama's assurances that changes are planned for the NSA surveillance program, Assange said in a written statement that Obama had "validated Edward Snowden's role as a whistle-blower". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aftermath_of_the_global_surveillance_disclosure