During the State of the Union, President Barack Obama addressed the National Security Agency’s mass-spying controversy. According to the President’s address, the intelligence agencies will release a report next month stating that they’ve respected individual privacy while maintaining a close watch on terror groups.
Now, the report could detail some new reforms that are not yet public, but it sounds like it’ll just reiterate the President’s claim that the NSA has always done a respectable job of protecting privacy. Here are his full remarks on the subject, lifted from Medium:
As Americans, we cherish our civil liberties — and we need to uphold that commitment if we want maximum cooperation from other countries and industry in our fight against terrorist networks. So while some have moved on from the debates over our surveillance programs, I haven’t. As promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard, with the recommendations of privacy advocates, to increase transparency and build more safeguards against potential abuse. And next month, we’ll issue a report on how we’re keeping our promise to keep our country safe while strengthening privacy.
On the advice of a special counsel, the President said he would look at how intelligence agencies could reduce the amount of telephone and Internet data that they record. He also praised the idea of a special legal advocate that would fight for civil liberties in special courts that approve spying requests.
Since the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks, very little has changed. Now, the report could provide evidence that very little needed to change.
We’ll see about that.