Obama Aims to Curb NSA Privacy Concerns
In a policy speech, Obama outlined new reforms for U.S. surveillance activities, including reform of bulk phone data collection.Ever since U.S National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden first emerged in 2013 with scathing details about the scope of intelligence-gathering capabilities, American officials have been on the defensive. Today in a policy speech, President Barack Obama outlined a number of reforms to reassure both U.S citizens and foreign governments that NSA is not violating individual rights. Obama's policy speech came as a response to recommendations made at the end of 2013 by a presidential task force for multiple reforms within U.S intelligence agencies. "Intelligence agencies cannot function without secrecy, which makes their work less subject to public debate," Obama said. That said, Obama noted that since the beginning of his presidency and following reviews ever since, he has seen no indications that the U.S. intelligence community is "cavalier about the civil liberties of their fellow citizens."
The president stressed that the intelligence community follows protocols intended to protect privacy and they are not abusing their authority in order to listen to private phone calls and read emails. Obama emphasized that the intelligence efforts are focused on national security and not on violating individuals' rights.