Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 4 Share on Facebook 3 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (9 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   7 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

The Fantasy That Obama Is Currently Planning to ‘Overhaul’ Surveillance Programs

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Kevin Gosztola     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Supported 2   Valuable 2   Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 1/12/14

Author 7416
Become a Fan
  (66 fans)
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from dissenter.firedoglake.com


(image by White House)   DMCA

The opening sentence of a report from the New York Times on reforms President Barack Obama is considering suggests that he is assembling a "plan to overhaul the nation's surveillance programs."

On December 31, Daniel Klaidman wrote a dazzling piece of fan fiction on how Obama's "defining fight" in 2014 will be how he takes on the surveillance state.

The president is planning to announce what changes to surveillance programs he supports in one week. Over the past few days, he has had meetings with lawmakers and intelligence agency leaders.

In the aftermath of revelations from documents disclosed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, there are multiple hints that suggest certain surveillance powers will not be constrained or ended.

First, after participating in a meeting with Obama yesterday, this was what Sen. Ron Wyden, a senator who has been championing significant reforms, said:

- Advertisement -

The debate is clearly fluid," senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a longtime critic of bulk surveillance, told the Guardian after the meeting. "My sense is the president, and the administration, is wrestling with these issues"

And:

What I'd say to Americans is that the future of these programs is being determined now. For those like me, who believe that security and liberty are not mutually exclusive, this is the time to weigh in.

- Advertisement -

Wyden, Sen. Mark Udall, another senator who has been fighting for checks against surveillance powers who also attended the Thursday meeting with Obama, and Sen. Martin Heinrich sent a letter to the president a day after the meeting urging him to adopt recommendations in a report from the NSA Review Group.

The letter encouraged the president to support "termination" of the storage of bulk telephone data and to "transition to a system in which phone companies provide specific customers' records to the government only when the government has a demonstrated need and an appropriate court order or emergency authorization."

It further suggested  the president support a probable cause requirement for searching the contents of communications collected under a section of the FISA Amendments Act (which Obama voted for in 2008 when he was a senator) and to close a loophole that allows for "backdoor searches" of Americans' communications. Also, the senators recommended Obama support a "Public Interest Advocate" who could represent "privacy interests" before the country's secret surveillance court.

Maybe this letter was sent to reinforce a position of support already taken by the president, but this letter would seem to suggest that these are critical measures Obama does not support.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, who is the co-author of the USA Freedom Act which contains some reasonable reforms to NSA programs, said after he left the meeting with Obama he was not so sure the president thinks we need legislation to reform the NSA.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, an NSA defender who attended the meeting with Obama, said afterward, "The president made it clear today that he understands the value of the metadata collection programs. He also made clear that some changes should be made to create trust in the program by making them more transparent to the American people. He was in a listening mode today, and we had a very good discussion about the way forward on the NSA programs."

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Supported 2   Valuable 2   Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

We Do Not Consent to Warrantless "Porno-Scanning" in Airports

Do They Put Lipstick on Pigs at the Funny Farm?

How Private Prison Corporations Hope Arizona's SB1070 Will Lead to Internment Camps for Illegals

Why the Battle Against TSA Groping and Body Scanners is Justified

Give Obama a Chance to Do What?