Since the leaking of information of NSA’s massive surveillance by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in May, outrage and scandal has ensued quickly leading to a startling 90 percent disapproval rating of US Congress, the lowest in history. In damage control political fashion, Obama held an important press conference to address these issues and outline plans to improve NSA programs and operations.
Albeit defending the program in general – citing its importance in detecting terrorist plots – the president also noted the mass concern regarding NSA’s abuses of privacy.
Obama outlined four steps to, “Move the debate forward,” including talks with Congress to revise Section 215 of the Patriot Act, disclosing more information about NSA, having adversaries overlook warrants on communications in, “appropriate cases,” and the appointment of high-level groups of outside experts to review the entire intelligence and communications technologies.
While Obama says he welcomes the debate over NSA surveillance programs, he says they can also tater on a misinformed level, and that we need to find the right balance between national security and privacy concerns.
The Obama administration is also planning to release a previously classified legal analysis explaining why the government is lawful under the provision of the Patriot Act, while the NSA is expected to release their own report and a web site explaining itself more clearly to the public.
Written By: Annie Elizabeth Martin