President Obama held a press conference today to discuss changes in NSA policies, specifically directed at it's metadata collection protocol. The controversial program has come under much public fire as of late, which has led the President to tackle this issue. On unenviable task, considering the amount of get area when it comes to national security.
His biggest change came in the form of a question as to who should be in charge of the collected metadata. The President insisted the US government would need a specific warrant to investigate any collected data. He also called for Congress to be voice in this process, to decide who will hold compiled information.
President Obama began his speech comparing Paul Revere and other historical covert measures to the modern day NSA. He defended the program and their work. Obama made it clear how important the agency is, in regards to national security. The President recalled 911 and the new threats brought to light after that day. He praised the nation's intelligence systems abilities to track terrorists and their funding.However he recognized that reform was in order. Pointing out how in a digital age, what little privacy we do have.
President Obama stated he firmly believes the NSA is working in within the letter of the law. He assured the nation that the NSA is not using it's technology to spy on their phone calls. He started he did want to indulge in the subject of Edward Snowden, yet acknowledged the abuse of the NSA's power. "I want the American people to know the work has begun" Obama said speaking in regards to NSA reform.
The key areas of the Presidents Speech
1) New Presidential directive - meaning Obama appointee will be reviewing the NSA.
2) Reform Declassification - keeping the US courts in the know, and deals with the specific rights of a foreigner
3) Curb telephone data collected, meaning the metadata (phone numbers called, length of calls etc) could only be queried under a lawful investigation.
Obama called for immediate changes to the phone data usage and holding of the information. He hopes his changes and speech will give American citizens more confidence in the NSA.
Obama also address our US allies, stating his new Presidential Directive will lay out clearly how the US collects its intelligence over seas. Firmly reiterating that the US does not spy on ordinary citizens.
"This I am certain this debate will make us stronger" Obama said.Pointing out as technology grows the US will have to continue to work to defend freedom.