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

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

Article Tabs

Plains All American, Surfrider Foundation, oil spill, Santa Barbara,

New details have emerged about Plains All American's long history of generating similar disasters.

The U.S. ranks among the most unequal countries, surpassed only by Turkey, Mexico and Chile.

$15 minimum wage, low wage workers, fast-food worker strikes, Fight for 15, minimum wage hikes

Some of the biggest cities in America are now defying decades of economic orthodoxy and challenging social norms that regarded low-wage jobs as unavoidable and acceptable.

Joseph Stiglitz, Bernie Sanders, new populism, democratic populism, wealth inequality, income inequality, Next System Project

It's time to begin the careful work of knitting together broad, pluralistic conceptions of what a transformed system might look like.

Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, corporate trade deals, whistleblowers, fast track, Trade Promotion Authority

Letter signed by more than 250 firms demands greater transparency and says "dangerously vague" language would criminalize whistleblowers.

Britain’s election shows it's no longer a united kingdom, that Scottish independence is increasingly likely – and that the new Conservative government will only further fracture an already deeply unequal society.

Posted 5 days 22 hours ago
fracking ban, Denton fracking, anti-fracking legislation, Greg Abbott

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that prohibits cities and towns from banning an oil drilling practice known as hydraulic fracking, giving the state sole authority over oil and gas regulation.

Posted 4 days 22 hours ago

The tide of public resistance against a proposed free trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union is rising in Germany, as opponents say the plan would harm democracy and rule of law.

Posted 4 days 22 hours ago

The Balkan country has been thrown into political crisis with the government implicated in a massive wire-tapping scandal and rigged elections, the opposition leader accused of plotting a coup, and 18 shot dead last week in a bloody gun battle.

Posted 5 days 22 hours ago

The $5.3 trillion subsidy estimate for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments.

Posted 3 days 21 hours ago
kayaktivists, sHellNo.org, Shell drilling rig

Hundreds of protesters assembled early Monday to prevent workers from reaching the rig that the company plans to bring to Alaska's Chukchi Sea this summer.

Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, corporate trade deals, whistleblowers, fast track, Trade Promotion Authority

Letter signed by more than 250 firms demands greater transparency and says "dangerously vague" language would criminalize whistleblowers.

The U.S. ranks among the most unequal countries, surpassed only by Turkey, Mexico and Chile.

This week Eleanor Goldfield visits activist artists in New York City

worker-owned cooperatives, worker-owned businesses

New York City is home to the country’s largest worker-owned co-op, Co-operative Home Care Associates, which employs some 2,300 workers, mainly immigrant and minority women in the South Bronx.

Sign Up