Friday, January 17, 2014

Obama Scales Back NSA Eavesdropping Program

President Barack Obama today banned U.S. eavesdropping on the leaders of close friends and allies and began reining in the vast collection of Americans' phone data in a series of reforms triggered by Edward Snowden's revelations. (Reuters, 17 January)

“The reforms I'm proposing today should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, even as our intelligence and law enforcement agencies maintain the tools they need to keep us safe," Obama said.

“The leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to learn what they think about an issue, I will pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance,” Obama added. (Reuters, 17 January)

One of the biggest changes will be an overhaul of the government's handling of bulk telephone “metadata.” Obama said the program will be ended as it currently exists. In a nod to privacy advocates, the government will not hold the bulk telephone metadata.

In addition, Obama said the U.S. the government will need a judicial review before the database, which lists millions of telephone calls, can be queried.

File photo: Reuters

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a humiliating situation for Obama!