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

The head-shaving by more than 40 protesters this week signals the Occupy Central's determination to oppose China's continued support for indirect elections to appoint Hong Kong’s chief executive.

Any statement that mass surveillance is not performed in New Zealand is categorically false. If you live in there, you're being watched.

The Arroyo Sustainable Economies Organization has release a bold blueprint to turn notoriously unequal and sprawling Los Angeles into a community-oriented, resource-sharing city for all.

Shifting toward community-based renewable power is a strong thread running through Scotland's Radical Independence Campaign, and a free Scotland could inspire other countries to relinquish their fossil fuel addiction.

If the people at the UN are not ready to take action, they should move to the side, because the people will.

If you want to fully understand the game at play in the bankruptcies and privatization of public assets in Detroit, Argentina, and Europe, play Monopoly.

Posted 5 days 4 hours ago

Britain’s political system is broken to the point where many people in Northern England actually want to join Scotland to escape austerity measures.

Posted 4 days 3 hours ago

SeaChange: We All Live Downstream is a two-week journey by boat that's raising awareness and generating community activism around climate issues before people hit the streets in Manhattan.

Posted 6 days 5 hours ago

Senate Joint Resolution 19 calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court Decision that opened the floodgates for corporate spending to influence political elections.

Posted 6 days 5 hours ago

In addition to speaking with a common voice on climate justice and the policies needed to achieve it, today's "movement of movements" needs to reach beyond environmentalists.

Posted 4 days 3 hours ago
A Housing Justice Movement Builds in Chicago

Amid the urban sprawl and industrial decay that have come to mark Chicago is a growing epidemic of foreclosures and evictions now threatening the lives of tens of thousands of the city’s residents.

How to Reduce Our Out-of-Control Prison Population

The following list represents a clear set of strategies for reducing our 2,300,000+ prison population without compromising public safety.

Rio-based company Condor Nonlethal Technologies is swimming in profit after a $22-million contract providing tear gas, rubber bullets, Tasers, and light and sound grenades to police and private security forces.

Four grand jury indictments and a criminal complaint allege unjustified beatings of jail inmates and visitors at downtown L.A. jail facilities, unjustified detentions and a conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation into misconduct at largest U.S. jail system.

Farmers protest after President Obama signs the Monsanto Protection Act into law.

Sign Up