Topic of the day: Will Obama's NSA proposals make a difference?

Published: Thursday, March 27 2014 4:45 p.m. MDT

President Barack Obama turns to leave the stage after he spoke about National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at the Justice Department in Washington.

Charles Dharapak, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the intelligence community has given him a plan to end the government’s mass data collection on American citizens, as reported by the Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima.

The plan would relieve “core concerns” about the widespread collection of Americans’ phone data, Obama announced during a nuclear summit in The Hague.

“Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech giants heard plenty of promise in President Barack Obama’s speech on surveillance reform,” wrote Politico’s Tony Romm. “Now, they’re just waiting for the real details.”

AOL, Apple, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yahoo produced a joint statement after the president’s remarks, saying there are still lingering issues that haven’t been addressed and need to be.

Despite Obama’s proclamation, however, the National Security Agency still desires to illegally collect Americans’ data, according to Andrew Napolitano, writing in the Washington Times.

The plan to curtail the spying program “would change only the appearance of what the NSA does but not its substance,” wrote Napolitano.

The new proposals still don’t mandate that the NSA must have probable cause for the general warrants it has been using and can continue to use, according to Napolitano. Consequently, “This keeps none of us safer. It does lessen our freedom when those in whose hands we repose the Constitution for safekeeping look the other way.”

Sen. Rand Paul balked at the proposed NSA changes on a Tuesday edition of Fox & Friends.

While Paul took partial credit for the president’s proposals in consequence of his lawsuit against him, he said in the interview, “The interesting thing is he unilaterally instituted this program without congressional authority. Now he’s saying he has to wait for congressional authority to undo it. I think he could unilaterally stop the program if he were serious about it.”

Erik Raymond is experienced in national and international politics. He relocated from the Middle East where he was working on his second novel. He produces content for DeseretNews.com. You can reach him at eraymond@deseretdigital.com and @RaymondErik

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS