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“This is a fairly broad assessment that’s being done. And the president will take his time because it is absolutely necessary to do that in his review. And come January, he’ll have concluded that work and make a presentation on it,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.

The panel’s 46 recommendations amount to a wholesale rejection of the direction the intelligence community has gone since the war on terrorism began.

In one recommendation, the panel said the NSA director should require confirmation by the Senate and that the position — which is a military post — be open to civilians. The panel said the next director probably should be a civilian.

Under the Patriot Act, the federal government and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are able to order businesses to turn over private information.

The panel said that power should be constrained to narrow circumstances in a specific, authorized investigation — not a broad fishing expedition.

Panelists also recommended changes that could cut down on leaks like Mr. Snowden’s — including a scoring system that would determine how much access personnel have to sensitive information.

Even as it was being criticized by Mr. Obama’s panel, the intelligence community was reveling in another distinction: For the fifth straight year, it was named one of the five best places to work in the federal government, based on employee satisfaction.