The ex NSA contractor who started a global outcry emitted at the NSA, has responded positively to a possible NSA reform.
In a statement released Wednesday through the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Edward Snowden called plans to reform the agency’s controversial bulk collection methods a “turning point”. Edward Snowden, ex NSA contractor leaking documents entailing secret NSA data collection, also noted that the White House and Congress’s recent efforts are “the beginning of a new effort to reclaim our rights from the NSA and restore the public’s seat at the table of government.”
Snowden started initially leaking documents June 5, 2013, near 7 months later President Obama released a proposal in which the NSA would no longer be able to store phone records. The proposal went on to state if the NSA wishes to listen to the data, it would require a court order to access it from a third-party.
Since early January congress has been working towards a conman goal to prohibit NSA mass surveillance and data collection of US citizens. Similar bills came to office just last October. Sponsored bills proposed that it would end the “eavesdropping, dragnet collection, and online monitoring” by the NSA and numerous other government agencies.
The White House has plans to announce the worked on proposal this week, which could leave phone records out of the hands of the NSA, and leave it in the hands of the phone companies. Agencies would then require a valid court order to request the data from the third-party, or phone record company.
While the reform only mentions phone metadata, it does not concern any other allegations. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who has proposed reform and sued the NSA for unconstitutional data collection many times, has called this “a giant step forward”. EFF is still endorsing the FREEDOM Act which extends beyond phone records, and concerns the digital information dragnet known as the PRISM program. EFF legal director Cindy Cohn, and EFF legislative analyst Mark M. Jaycox both stated “Or better still, we urge the Administration to simply decide that it will stop misusing section 215 of the Patriot Act and section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act and Executive Order 12333 and whatever else it is secretly relying on to stop mass spying”, “The executive branch does not need congressional approval to stop the spying; nothing Congress has done compels it to engage in bulk collection. It could simply issue a new Executive Order requiring the NSA to stop.”
Snowdens full statements regarding the reform on the ACLU read:
“I believed that if the NSA’s unconstitutional mass surveillance of Americans was known, it would not survive the scrutiny of the courts, the Congress, and the people.
“The very first open and adversarial court to ever judge these programs has now declared them ‘Orwellian’ and ‘likely unconstitutional.’ In the USA FREEDOM Act, Congress is considering historic, albeit incomplete reforms. And President Obama has now confirmed that these mass surveillance programs, kept secret from the public and defended out of reflex rather than reason, are in fact unnecessary and should be ended.
“This is a turning point, and it marks the beginning of a new effort to reclaim our rights from the NSA and restore the public’s seat at the table of government.”