Obama to Present Plans for NSA Reform Next Week

On January 17, President Obama will present a plan for the reform of NSA surveillance practices.

The Pentagon now says Edward Snowden downloaded 1.7 million files.

In related news, the State Department has issued a new FAQ on terrorism classifications.

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    Thank you, Mr. Snowden (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 02:54:29 PM EST
    F.U., Mr. Obama. Pardon this kid already. If you can manage to be a big enough man.

    Good to See the Fox... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:02:46 PM EST
    ... will 'present a plan' in regards to henhouse practices.

    They are to move the obtrusive data collected to corporate owned servers the NSA will have full access to.

    This announcement comes the day Target announces that 110 million customer accounts were affected by their hack at Christmas.

    Not only did Target's announcement on Friday disclose a vastly expanded universe of credit and debit theft victims, but it revealed that the hackers stole a broader trove of data than originally reported. The company now says that other kinds of information were taken, including mailing and email addresses, phone numbers and names.

    That has to be damn near every account.  But I am sure our data will be safe with the other guys...

    Neiman Marcus (none / 0) (#7)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 10:15:42 PM EST
    hacked also. link

    The Presidentially appointed (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 06:06:23 PM EST
    Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology came up with a reasonable and sensible series of reforms, consisting of 46 recommendations.

    Yes, forty-six, which in and of itself would seem to argue that reforms are needed and in order.  The President took this report with him on his Christmas vacation so that he could study it, although one important recommendation did not take much consideration since it was dismissed out-of-hand.  Namely,that NSA be split from U.S. military Cyber Command. So  the NSA director will remain a general or admiral, where, in my view, a civilian should be at the helm of this spying agency.

    But, the review group's recommendations would continue un-targeted spying and the bulk collection of data. Moreover, it is not clear how much better off we will be if private company servers are holding data instead of government data centers.

    The FISA Court definitely needs change in how and who is appointed. Perhaps, a senate confirmation hearing, modified in that it would be conducted by the Intelligence Committee would be a safeguarding step.  And, if it is to continue to be labeled a "Court" it should provide for more than government arguments.

      Hopefully,  something more than a patina of change will be made  so as to head- off Congressional action and to pacify citizens who have become aware of the program's sweeping extent owing, in large measure, to Edward Snowden.  

     It will be difficult for the President to make meaningful reforms in the context of the long-term, creeping alteration of the presidential oath of office which has, in effect  morphed into: '..will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution, so long as it does not interfere with my role as custodian of the national security state.'

    "a patina of change" (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 06:21:30 PM EST
    - you nailed it.

    And it will probably have some (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 06:09:21 PM EST
    catchy little name in the tradition of the "Healthy Forests Initiative" or the "Clean Air Act," that will fool people into thinking Obama is riding to the rescue of the American people's privacy.

    Or Obama will emphasize how important it is for the American people to trust these intelligence agencies again, as if this is just a PR disaster he needs to clean up.

    SSDD?  We'll see.

    Hard to forget his initial response, that (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 11:41:34 AM EST
    he thought we should feel comfortable with NSA surveillance.

    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 10:57:31 PM EST
    has already expressed himself with respect to the massive spying by the NSA.

    He referred to it as, "an inconvenience".

    So now it will become "convenient"?

    A few (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by lentinel on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 09:05:45 AM EST
    suggested reforms:

    Monitor only between 8am and 1:30 pm.

    Collect data for A - K on Mondays and Wednesdays.
    Collect data for L - Y on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
    "Z" to be collected on Sunday between 8 - 10am.

    Hold an annual gala for the person who has compiled the most complete dossier about someone who has not been accused of anything.

    Don't hold your breath (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 09:14:54 AM EST
    I Hope Snowden/Greenwald... (none / 0) (#13)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 02:14:28 PM EST
    ...release something during, just to make a point about how full of S Obama is on this issue.

    I can't believe anyone thought he (none / 0) (#14)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 02:59:48 PM EST
    was going to change, rein in, scale back, stop or do anything substantive to reduce the shape, structure, boundaries, mission, scope of our massive security system.

    If he'd wanted to change it from where it was when Bush went off to paint, he could have done that - or at least, he could have gone to the Congress to lobby for scaling things back and bringing the programs into compliance with Constitutional principles.

    But he didn't.  He expanded the reach of these programs - not by asking Congress for permission to do it, but by wielding executive authority and stonewalling and making the system opaque.

    So, don't count me as one of the disappointed: I knew all along this was just a sop to those who have been nagging at him for years.  It's part of a PR effort to make us feel better about having little or no privacy.


    The snooping on Americans (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 03:52:25 PM EST
    (Not to mention others) has been going on for quite awhile, Anne.  It's just that technological advances have made it easier for them to expand their reach.
    I listened to the Kojo Nnamdi Show on NPR (WAMU) this morning, and he had as guests the author of "The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI."
    (This was from 1971, even before the Watergate revelations.)
    In 1971, eight people stole and disclosed FBI records that proved the agency was spying on black and anti-war activists under the now-infamous COINTELPRO banner. Four decades later, a new book reveals the burglars' identities, answering questions about how they pulled off the historic heist, and fueling renewed debates over whistle-blowers and government surveillance of its own citizens.


    As well as some of the children of the original people involved. A hugely interesting story.  You can listen to it at the link, once it's up.


    Does Paypal cooperate with NSA (none / 0) (#6)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 09:23:04 PM EST


    "Yet somehow none of these concerns are enough for Greenwald's most ardent supporters to even raise the question of how he is using his personal collection of leaked NSA files and who he is getting into bed with financially to do so.

    One truly independent media figure who has raised this question publicly in recent days is Sibel Edmonds of Boiling Frogs Post. In a recent series of articles she has been reporting on the Greenwald-Omidyar-PayPal-NSA connection, and has exclusively reported that a retired NSA source is claiming that PayPal involvement in the NSA is explicitly mentioned in some of the documents that Greenwald has yet to share with the public. Greenwald has issued denials to the effect that he has not encountered any such information in the leaks, but has stated that he has no doubt that PayPal has a relationship with the NSA. However, to those presuming to ask questions about the possible conflict of interest of the lead NSA leak reporter teaming up with a man whose personal financial empire rests on a company that `undoubtedly' has a relationship with the NSA, Greenwald is surprisingly quick to issue ad hominem attacks and surprisingly slow to issue a substantive refutation of this concern.

    Now, a number of whistleblowers and journalists are lining up to voice their own concerns about the fact that the only two people in the world with the access to the full treasure trove of Snowden documents, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, are joining forces with billionaire Pierre Omidyar."

    The obvious flaw: (none / 0) (#11)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 11:46:14 AM EST
    This isn't the province of the Executive branch.

    What Ukase does, Ukase as easily undoes.