Conservative: Are Obama’s NSA reforms enough or too much?
President Obama spoke out Friday on behalf of recent documents released regarding the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, but did not say that the spying would actually end; he just said that the information would not be handled by the NSA anymore.
He did not propose a plan for where the NSA phone data should be transferred; he just said that he would ask the attorney general to have them transferred by March.
On Jan. 17, director of the Office of National Intelligence James Clapper released more than 2,000 surveillance program documents since last June.
In order for the NSA to do a search on the phone data, they will now need approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The court, created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, is in charge of surveillance of terrorists and foreign espionage targets.
This does not fix the problem; all it does is change where the information is being stored. This does not necessarily mean that the spying will stop. Will the government continue to search all of this private data without a warrant? This does not put as much limitations on the government’s ability as it should be regarding this.
People will begin to wonder if the president is just trying to save himself and the Democrats in Congress because many of them will be up for re-election in November. Some people are upset with their Democratic Congressmen and Senators due to how they voted for Obamacare and many issues dealing with the government shutdown. He needs to do something to save these people if he wants Democratic control of either chamber.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has said he wanted to file a lawsuit against the NSA, because they are “overreaching” with the collection of phone data. He filed a class-action lawsuit because he believed that it was a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Paul is correct on this; this is a violation of our Fourth Amendment, but whether a lawsuit should be filed could be debatable.
I fully agree with him though, but he is also up for re-election as well and should be careful in everything he does. In order for him to not appear as weak, he should keep standing up for this.
In regards to the statements released on Friday, Paul said, “While I am encouraged the president is addressing the NSA spying program because of pressure from Congress and the American people, I am disappointed in the details.”
I believe that Paul’s statement could be true to an extent, but it may not be only because of the pressure from the American people.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said that he would like to propose legislation in Congress to create a special committee to study these issues. I really hope that this will go through because this could be a great thing if there were a group of people examining anything that appeared this controversial. Any questions that would be raised could be examined and studied by the special committee.
If this does go through, I think it would be a good idea to place an equal amount of Republicans and Democrats on this committee to examine the issues, so that no party is to blame for anything done.
Hopefully the president will make more changes, and not just to save his party. Regardless of what party you are in, you are an American, and you have a right to privacy.