Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Laugher O' the Day!: Obama to Announce New Limits on U.S. Espionage Programs


Smoke Screen: American's private information as well as that of foreigners will still be monitored by someone masquerading as an authority of the "Secret Court". (e.g: "reasonable suspicion", "specific circumstances")

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government on Tuesday will announce new limits ordered by President Barack Obama on domestic and international espionage programs revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the White House said.

Obama’s top anti-terrorism advisor, Lisa Monaco, said in a communique that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Tuesday will publish a report discussing the “progress” made in implementing reforms to the NSA programs, a move proposed by Obama in January 2014.

According to what several media outlets have reported, the administration will request that the NSA delete or destroy information about U.S. and foreign citizens that is not deemed relevant to national security or does not have any intelligence value five years after its collection.

In addition, the White House will begin to make periodic reviews of the NSA’s monitoring of foreign leaders, according to The New York Times.

The scope and the details of the massive NSA spying programs, most of them launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, were exposed in 2013 by Snowden, who was formerly an analyst for the agency and is currently in exile in Russia.

Snowden’s revelations brought to light that the United States spied on the personal communications of certain leaders considered to be Washington’s “friends,” including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will visit the White House next week to meet with Obama.

In January 2014, Obama ordered an end to U.S. spying on leaders of allied nations, however, he said that the intelligence services will continue gathering information about foreign governments to be able to better determine their intentions.

Shortly thereafter, in March, the president formally presented a plan whereby the telephone records of millions of U.S. citizens gathered by the NSA would be removed from government hands and remain under the control of the telephone companies for a maximum of 18 months, as established by current law.

Under Obama’s plan, the NSA would only access those phone records in
specific circumstances after obtaining authorization from the secret court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, and when there is a reasonable suspicion that the telephone number is linked to a terrorist.

The president’s proposal is in the hands of Congress, where a bill on it was blocked last November in the Senate.


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