President Barack Obama announced today changes to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) phone data collection program. Speaking from the White House this morning to announce the release of the Presidential Policy Directive: Signals Intelligence Activities, Obama said it is not enough for governments to simply say “trust us” that your data won’t be breached. “It depends on the law to constrain those in power,” he said, noting the basic values of most Americans on surveillance and privacy are more closely aligned than media reports of recent months would indicate. “The challenge is getting the details right,” he said. “And that is not simple.” He spoke of “concrete and substantial reforms.” The Washington Post highlights those changes, which include restrictions on spying of U.S. allies; the creation of a new panel to serve as advocates to provide an independent voice before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and, as Obama put it, an “end to the bulk metadata program as it currently exists.”
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