The scope of the National Security Agency’s surveillance has stunned people all over the world, but especially those in the United States. Records of nearly every citizen’s phone and internet behavior have been collected and stored in massive data centers. A committee was assembled to examine the problem and discuss possible solutions. One suggestion was to transfer the trillion phone records to a third party agency, an idea Obama rejected.
Now it looks like there might be bigger plans ahead. Not only is the president allegedly considering a large overhaul of the agency, but he might be extending privacy rights to non-citizens in the country and abroad.
Changes depend on the president’s decision regarding numerous proposals issues by the committee, as well as the senate and other advisers. But it is going to be a long process, taken one step at a time, and the reform won’t be happening all at once.
I expect that this will be an important milestone in the process and a conclusion in many respects for this review,” Press Secretary Jim Carney said, but not all of the work will be done simply because these recommendations are being acted on.
Over the past several months, almost constant information has filtered from whistleblower Edward Snowden about the muti-agency operation. Some revelations included the spying of key leaders around the world, attempts to bully tech companies into placing back doors into their programs, the brute forced hacks into those same programs with the tech company’s knowledge, and the collection of information from an enormous number of people both in the country and abroad.
The NSA has denied some reports, despite the official documents discussing them being released. In particular, they have stated that they did not spy on Spanish or French citizens, as one memo claimed. They have also said that they merely store metadata from online activity, and do not monitor the bulk of it. Considering how much data they have collected, that one, at least, is probably true.
We should be hearing about the coming changes by next week, sources say.
Source: Wall Street Journal