Americans were shocked to learn of the National Security Agency’s reach into their private lives. A shocking new report released today revealed the NSA steals over 200 million text messages PER DAY!
In order to assuage the fears of Americans, President Obama held a hasty press conference to announce sweeping reforms of the NSA’s intelligence collection to give the American people confidence that their privacy is being protected.
Sweating under the hot TV lights, President Obama announced the NSA would no longer hold on to bulk telephone metadata.
Obama said he is ordering an end to the “section 215” bulk metadata collection program. And he established “a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata.”
Obama also said the NSA could no longer tap phones without a court order.
Obama grumbled that Americans have too much freedom to question his government. Comparing America to China and Russia where freedom of speech is suppressed, Obama said, “I’ll admit the readiness of some to assume the worst motives by our government can be frustrating, No one expects China to have an open debate about their surveillance programs, or Russia to take privacy concerns of citizens into account.”
Obama defended the government’s bulk collection of telephone metadata under “section 215.” He insisted that the data did not include “content or names of people making calls.” He said the metadata is collected so that it can be queried to see if a particular phone number is linked to a terrorist organization.
“The program is designed to map the telephone data of terrorists to see who a terrorist is in contact with,” Obama said. “Time is of the essence. Being able to quickly review phone connections to assess if a terrorist network exists. The NSA does not examine the phone records of ordinary Americans.”
Obama added: “I believe critics are right to point out that, without proper safeguards, this type of program could be used to yield more information about our private lives. And open the door to more intrusive bulk collection programs in the future. For all these reasons, I believe we need a new approach.”
A NSA review group suggested that multiple telephone providers hold onto the bulk of the metadata. But Obama said this could lead to new privacy concerns.