Read

Search form

Edward Snowden Calls Obama Plan for NSA Reform A “Turning Point”

Edward Snowden Calls Obama Plan for NSA Reform A “Turning Point”
Thu, 3/27/2014 - by Spencer Ackerman
This article originally appeared on The Guardian

The National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has welcomed plans by Barack Obama to end the practice of systematically storing Americans’ telephone data.

In a statement through the American Civil Liberties Union, Snowden said the plans outlined by Obama were a “turning point.”

Obama confirmed on Tuesday that the U.S. plans to end the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records, admitting that trust in the country’s intelligence services had been shaken and pledging to address the concerns of privacy advocates.

At the same time, leaders of the House intelligence committee said they were close to a deal with the White House to revamp the surveillance program. Another reform proposal, the USA Freedom Act, would go further.

Snowden said none of these reforms would have happened without the disclosures he precipitated. “I believed that if the NSA's unconstitutional mass surveillance of Americans was known, it would not survive the scrutiny of the courts, the Congress, and the people,” Snowden said.

"The very first open and adversarial court to ever judge these programs has now declared them 'Orwellian' and 'likely unconstitutional.' In the USA Freedom Act, Congress is considering historic, albeit incomplete reforms. And President Obama has now confirmed that these mass surveillance programs, kept secret from the public and defended out of reflex rather than reason, are in fact unnecessary and should be ended.

"This is a turning point, and it marks the beginning of a new effort to reclaim our rights from the NSA and restore the public's seat at the table of government."

Obama conceded that the Snowden revelations had caused trust in the U.S. to plunge around the world.

“We have got to win back the trust not just of governments, but, more importantly, of ordinary citizens. And that's not going to happen overnight, because there's a tendency to be skeptical of government and to be skeptical of the U.S. intelligence services,” Obama said at a news conference in The Hague, where world leaders are gathered for a summit on nuclear security.

Obama said he believed that reform proposals presented to him by the U.S. intelligence agencies were “workable,” and would “eliminate” the concerns of privacy campaigners.

“I am confident that it allows us to do what is necessary in order to deal with the threat of a terrorist attack, but does so in a way that addresses people's concerns,” he said.

Originally published by The Guardian

Add new comment

Sign Up

Article Tabs

fascism, Donald Trump, Nazis, capitalists, Goldman Sachs, Brexit, racist politics, Kim Phillips-Fein

We would not have the rabidly free market, neoliberal – and increasingly fascist-leaning – system we have today if not for capitalists who have invested in small far-right groups from the 1930s onwards.

Dakota Access pipeline, Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Keystone XL pipeline, oil pipelines, gas pipelines, pipeline protests, carbon emissions, oil pollution

For starters, this protest is about a competing idea for the future of the planet – and waves of people will show up to make that point.

Mexican teacher strikes, Nochixtlán massacre, National Coordination of Education Workers, National Union of Education Workers, Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexican school closures, MORENA party, National Regeneration Movement, California Federation of Teachers, Ca

As the Mexican school year is starting, teachers in four states have refused to return to classes until a negotiated agreement changes the government’s program – and perpetrators of a massacre are held responsible.

Rapid population growth, wastewater pollution, an increase in dams – and sweeping changes wrought by climate change – are imperiling Pakistan's treasured wetlands and river systems.

EpiPen, Heather Bresch, Joe Manchin, Mylan Pharmaceutical

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has demanded hearings on the EpiPen’s 450 percent price increase in just seven years.

Hillary Clinton, corporate presidency, Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, oil and gas industry, fracking, Ken Salazar, John Podesta, Bernie Sanders, Tim Kaine, Democratic National Committee, DNC

Rhetoric aside, Clinton is showing her full solidarity with Wall Street – most recently with the announcement that former Interior Secretary and oil and gas industry insider Ken Salazar will chair her transition team.

Posted 6 days 1 hour ago
EpiPen, Heather Bresch, Joe Manchin, Mylan Pharmaceutical

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has demanded hearings on the EpiPen’s 450 percent price increase in just seven years.

Posted 4 days 5 hours ago

Rapid population growth, wastewater pollution, an increase in dams – and sweeping changes wrought by climate change – are imperiling Pakistan's treasured wetlands and river systems.

Posted 3 days 7 hours ago
Black Lives Matter, George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Alicia Garza,

Again and again, the movement has challenged the abandonment of Black communities underlying a wave of police violence.

Posted 6 days 1 hour ago
income inequality, the 99%, Occupy Wall Street

It may not improve much next year, if House Republicans have their way.

Posted 4 days 22 hours ago
Black Lives Matter, George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Alicia Garza,

Again and again, the movement has challenged the abandonment of Black communities underlying a wave of police violence.

EpiPen, Heather Bresch, Joe Manchin, Mylan Pharmaceutical

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has demanded hearings on the EpiPen’s 450 percent price increase in just seven years.

Rapid population growth, wastewater pollution, an increase in dams – and sweeping changes wrought by climate change – are imperiling Pakistan's treasured wetlands and river systems.

marijuana, public banking, Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Because marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule 1 drug, private banks are effectively prohibited from fully participating in this market.

Hillary Clinton, corporate presidency, Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, oil and gas industry, fracking, Ken Salazar, John Podesta, Bernie Sanders, Tim Kaine, Democratic National Committee, DNC

Rhetoric aside, Clinton is showing her full solidarity with Wall Street – most recently with the announcement that former Interior Secretary and oil and gas industry insider Ken Salazar will chair her transition team.