Given the hullabaloo over the NSA and their spying programs and tactics, safe to say many, including US citizens and other countries around the world, aren’t too pleased about it. The NSA’s argument is that their actions have been done for the sake of national security, and while that might be true, the methods used has since caused many to evaluate and question the integrity of tech companies and supposedly secure encryption software. In any case the good news is that President Barack Obama has since come forward and announced that there will be reforms made to the NSA, as he had promised he would address earlier this week.
One of the major changes he promised to make would be to put an end of the Section 215 bulk metadata collection program. According to Obama, “I believe we need a new approach. I am therefore ordering a transition that will end the Section 215 bulk metadata program as it currently exists, and establish a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk meta-data.” The President also called on Attorney-General Eric Holder and the NSA to come up with alternative methods of holding the data in the next 60 days, with some alternatives such as leaving it with the telcos and only retrieving it when needed (a court order will also be needed to access data on a specific target), or handing it over to a third-party.
Obama also announced that he has ordered the halt to dozens of phone taps to foreign leaders and heads of state, claiming, “I have made clear to the intelligence community that – unless there is a compelling national security purpose – we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies.” He also admits that saying all of this is not enough to regain the trust of the American citizens and their allies, but hopefully the new directive will at least appease those who might be worried that the government is not planning on doing anything at all. What do you guys think of the new changes?