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The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., attracts visitors. / Brendan Smialowski, AFP/Getty Images

When some people think about Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday's holiday, they won't necessarily be thinking about the struggle for civil rights.

They'll be pondering the potential abuse of government surveillance programs.

The FBI improperly spied on King during the early 1960s, a fact that President Obama cited during a Friday speech proposing new rules for National Security Agency surveillance activities.

"During the course of our review, I have often reminded myself I would not be where I am today were it not for the courage of dissidents like Dr. King, who were spied upon by their own government," said the nation's first African-American president.

Obama added: "As president -- a president who looks at intelligence every morning -- I also can't help but be reminded that America must be vigilant in the face of threats."



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Obama cites King in surveillance speech

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