Obama Bans Spying on Allies, Scales Back NSA Program

Image: Obama Bans Spying on Allies, Scales Back NSA Program

Friday, 17 Jan 2014 11:32 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
President Barack Obama on Friday announced a ban on U.S. eavesdropping on the leaders of close friends and allies, and reined in the vast collection of Americans' phone data in a series of reforms triggered by Edward Snowden's revelations.

In a major speech, Obama took steps to reassure Americans and foreigners alike that the United States will take into account privacy concerns that arose after former spy contractor Snowden's damaging disclosures about the large monitoring activities of the National Security Agency.

Urgent: Should the NSA Spy on Americans? Vote Here Now

Obama promised that the United States will not eavesdrop on the heads of state or government of close U.S. friends and allies, which a senior administration official said would apply to dozens of leaders.

The step was designed to smooth over frayed relations between, for example, the United States and Germany after reports surfaced last year that the NSA had monitored the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Among the list of reforms, Obama called on Congress to establish an outside panel of privacy advocates for the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that considers terrorism cases.

While the speech was designed to address concerns that U.S. surveillance has gone too far, Obama's measures were limited.

One of the biggest changes will be an overhaul of the government's handling of bulk telephone "metadata."

In a nod to privacy advocates, Obama decided that the government should not hold the bulk telephone metadata, a decision that could frustrate some intelligence officials.

In addition, he ordered that effective immediately, the government will take steps to modify the program so that a judicial finding is required before the database is queried.

Obama also decided that communications providers would be allowed to share more information with the public above government requests for data.

While a presidential advisory panel had recommended that the bulk data be controlled by a third party such as the telephone companies, Obama did not plan to offer a specific proposal for who should store the data in the future.

Obama has asked Attorney General Eric Holder and the intelligence community to report back to him before the program comes up for reauthorization on March 28 on how to preserve the necessary capabilities of the program, without the government holding the metadata.

Administration officials will consult relevant congressional committees on how best to handle the material.

Obama is balancing public anger at the disclosure of intrusion into Americans' privacy with his commitment to retain policies he considers critical to protecting the United States.

Urgent: Should the NSA Spy on Americans? Vote Here Now
 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Russia Warns US against Further Sanctions as Ukraine Deal Stalls

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 20:23 PM

Russia said its military is massed on Ukraine's doorstep and warned against further US sanctions as a deal struck with W . . .

Sen. Corker: Time to Consider Sending Weapons to Ukraine

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 19:31 PM

It is time for the United States to provide lethal weapons for Ukraine's military, Sen. Bob Corker said Friday, and make . . .

Pope's Good Friday Message: 'Remember All the Abandoned People'

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 18:05 PM

The plight of immigrants, the poor, the sick, the elderly, unemployed and prisoners dominated Pope Francis' Good Friday  . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved