Obama Reveals NSA Surveillance Reform Plans

/ 3 years ago


This weekend the U.S President Barack Obama unveiled new plans to reform the NSA’s surveillance programs. He says he wants to rebuild public trust in the NSA after recent media coverage has all but demolished that.

At the forefront of reforms will be modifications to section 215 of the Patriot Act which currently allows the U.S  government to bulk collect domestic phone call data. Additionally Barack Obama is offering a government maintained website to explain the surveillance programs and make as much information about it publicly available as possible through this website. Furthermore Obama will create an outside advisory panel, to review the surveillance programs, assigning a privacy officer and independent attorney to challenge government surveillance policies, in court where necessary.

Commenting on Edward Snowden Barack Obama remains sceptical of his “whistleblower” status stating:

No, I don’t think Mr. Snowden was a patriotI called for a thorough review of our surveillance operations before Mr. Snowden made these leaks. My preference, and I think the American people’s preference, would have been for a lawful, orderly examination of these laws. A thoughtful, fact-based debate that would then lead us to a better place…So the fact is that Mr. Snowden has been charged with three feloniesIf in fact he believes that what he did was right, then like every American citizen he can come here, appear before a court with a lawyer and make his case. If the concern was that somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public, I signed an executive order well before Mr. Snowden leaked this information that provided whistleblower protection to the intelligence community for the first time. So there were other avenues available for someone whose conscience was stirred.” Stated Barack Obama.

Read full details of the reforms here.

What are your thoughts on Obama’s proposed reforms?

Image courtesy of  AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan

Topics: , , ,

  • Wayne

    I think it’s just lip service. We’ll wait & see.