Obama bans spying on leaders of U.S. allies, scales back NSA program

Comments (118)
JoeSchmoe123 wrote:

Clapper already lied to Congress; do you really think they’ll comply with anything Obama says?

Jan 17, 2014 6:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
AZreb wrote:

Blah, blah, blah – major overhaul – photo op – speech – changes – and I have some oceanfront property in AZ and also in UT for sale. Anyone falling for that?

Jan 17, 2014 6:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bugzy wrote:

Same old blah blah blah, we’re not all dumb! The NSA and other agencies will continue to hijack data till the end of the world. There’s nothing to curb……….the users of social media and mobile phones need to curb their activities if they feel uncomfortable about being spied on. Imagine if Facebook went blank in a day with no data or activity.

Carry on spying NSA and the rest!

Thank you reuters………I can post comments again ( thought I was blocked)

Jan 17, 2014 7:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
TrevorSamuel wrote:

And what if someone else collects the data that the NSA analyzes? Is that considered spying? If the NSA spies, and/or surveils, individuals in the UK and then passes that data along to the GCHQ who is to say that the same thing is not happening in the US but with reversed roles? And why just the NSA? Are there not more intelligence agencies that perform this type of electronic surveillance? What is being done to curtail their abuse(s) of power?

This whole episode speaks of hypocrisy, abuse of power and politically-motivated phrasing(s) or events. They would say that if they collect information about Americans while investigating others it is not spying. The constitution seems to differ in viewpoint.

Jan 17, 2014 7:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
Des3Maisons wrote:

The devil is in the details. We’ll see how it goes.

Thank you Edward Snowden!

Jan 17, 2014 8:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
Overcast451 wrote:

*While a presidential advisory panel had recommended that the bulk data be controlled by a third party such as the telephone companies*

Then the phone companies and anyone else with access to the database can review the information.

A database is just a big file or series of files. Management software will assign various rights to it – anyone with the rights, can access the data. It’s not some mythical old wise protector of data or anything fancy like that. Past the point of auditing access, which is also something that can be easily changed, for the most part – you may not even know who’s accessing it.

And if they are using a ‘service account’ of some sort – it won’t matter. After all; the database is likely being backed-up somehow and there’s probably an account that’s backing it up – login with that account’s credentials and most observers and ‘forensics’ would only show the backup software is connecting.

So – just having the data, is an issue and will continue to be an issue.

Jan 17, 2014 8:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
mottleyfrog wrote:

Wow, Obama is really fighting the Illuminati-NSA on this. I hope he doubled security! Way to go. Also -Pardon Snowden!

Jan 17, 2014 8:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bighammerman wrote:

One more step Obama will take to hurt the U.S. He will not stop until he destroys the country.

Jan 17, 2014 8:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
NotYetAZombie wrote:

I don’t exactly believe him, for some reason.

Jan 17, 2014 9:12am EST  --  Report as abuse
karimnn wrote:

To be implemented in 2024

Jan 17, 2014 9:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
sjfella wrote:

Once confidence is lost it’s nearly impossible to regain. Get lost, Obama, you lie so much you don’t even realize it.

Jan 17, 2014 9:24am EST  --  Report as abuse

The problem is clearly worse that we ever knew.

Not only are they sucking up huge amounts of personal data (having the phone number, the numbers contacted by the phone, and the cell tower location) that is a continuous record gives the government information, that if it were originally in paper form, would require a warrant issued by a judge based on probable cause in order for the government to get it.

“In addition, he will order that effectively immediately, “we will take steps to modify the program so that a judicial finding is required before we query the database,” said the senior official, who revealed details of the speech on condition of anonymity.”

Now we find out that the government wasn’t/isn’t even getting a warrant to search the unconstitutional database.

It makes no difference who holds the data. The collection of the data without an INDIVIDUAL warrant for each INDIVIDUAL being monitored MUST STOP!!

Jan 17, 2014 9:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
h5mind wrote:

Notice the President didn’t say anything about NOT spying on all Americans, only that they would find a different stooge to warehouse all the data for them. I like how Diane Feinstein said she “believes the program is legal”. Well, that’s a relief. Guess we can throw out that pesky Constitution now. We weren’t using it anyway.

Jan 17, 2014 9:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
h5mind wrote:

Notice the President didn’t say anything about NOT spying on all Americans, only that they would find a different stooge to warehouse all the data for them. I like how Diane Feinstein said she “believes the program is legal”. Well, that’s a relief. Guess we can throw out that pesky Constitution now. We weren’t using it anyway.

Jan 17, 2014 9:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
h5mind wrote:

Notice the President didn’t say anything about NOT spying on all Americans, only that they would find a different stooge to warehouse all the data for them. I like how Diane Feinstein said she “believes the program is legal”. Well, that’s a relief. Guess we can throw out that pesky Constitution now. We weren’t using it anyway.

Jan 17, 2014 9:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
h5mind wrote:

Notice the President didn’t say anything about NOT spying on all Americans, only that they would find a different stooge to warehouse all the data for them. I like how Diane Feinstein said she “believes the program is legal”. Well, that’s a relief. Guess we can throw out that pesky Constitution now. We weren’t using it anyway.

Jan 17, 2014 9:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
h5mind wrote:

Notice the President didn’t say anything about NOT spying on all Americans, only that they would find a different stooge to warehouse all the data for them. I like how Diane Feinstein said she “believes the program is legal”. Well, that’s a relief. Guess we can throw out that pesky Constitution now. We weren’t using it anyway.

Jan 17, 2014 9:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
h5mind wrote:

Notice the President didn’t say anything about NOT spying on all Americans, only that they would find a different stooge to warehouse all the data for them. I like how Diane Feinstein said she “believes the program is legal”. Well, that’s a relief. Guess we can throw out that pesky Constitution now. We weren’t using it anyway.

Jan 17, 2014 9:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
h5mind wrote:

Notice the President didn’t say anything about NOT spying on all Americans, only that they would find a different stooge to warehouse all the data for them. I like how Diane Feinstein said she “believes the program is legal”. Well, that’s a relief. Guess we can throw out that pesky Constitution now. We weren’t using it anyway.

Jan 17, 2014 9:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
h5mind wrote:

Notice the President didn’t say anything about NOT spying on all Americans, only that they would find a different stooge to warehouse all the data for them. I like how Diane Feinstein said she “believes the program is legal”. Well, that’s a relief. Guess we can throw out that pesky Constitution now. We weren’t using it anyway.

Jan 17, 2014 9:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
herbxerx wrote:

Seems like the scramble to full-fledged damage-control mode has begun. This article mentions the “basic telephone call data” but what about the tens of millions of text messages that have been collected DAILY for YEARS under the “Dishfire” program?

Until a reasonably forthright and honest-seeming explanation is given for these programs and the reasons behind them, these “promises” will appear as empty lip service. I caution against putting Obama’s face on this whole thing, however. The strings are being pulled by something much more threatening to your way of life than Obama.

Jan 17, 2014 9:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
VVertuls wrote:

Once upon a time I was thinking that one of US values is personal freedom. Now it feels USA is as far from that, as it can be. The only comparison to such amount of spying on everyone and everywhere, that comes to my mind, is USSR. We all know how that country ended. I certainly wish US all the best, but behaving like this will make rest of the world into enemies. I hope that there will be fundamental change in attitude from US government ot everyone. What they are doing is a complete disrespect to theier citizens, to everyone on the planet. That is not sustainable policy. I hope this will not end with big crush for US and entire planet.

Jan 17, 2014 10:06am EST  --  Report as abuse
UScitizentoo wrote:

> change the handling
Which means they will still be breaking the law, just different people will break it.

Jan 17, 2014 10:26am EST  --  Report as abuse

herbxerx wrote:
“what about the tens of millions of text messages that have been collected DAILY for YEARS under the “Dishfire” program?”

I was under the impression that text messages could only be stored for a few weeks due to the sheer volume. That’s unverified, but knowing some people, I’m inclined to believe it…

Jan 17, 2014 10:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
LawyerTom1 wrote:

It is important to bear in mind that the “revision” may not be as sweeping as the headlines proclaim. Many phone calls are carried over the internet (VOIP), and these are collected as emails, not as classic telephone calls, and thus are not subject to the proposed restraint.

Jan 17, 2014 10:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
z0rr0 wrote:

“Obama will say he has decided that the government should not hold the bulk telephone metadata”

What?
Contracting out prison guards still leaves it a jail. Just that there is a profit motive on top of the retribution motive.

Why would privatizing the NSA vault reduce the risk of a police state? Wouldn’t it just turn into a for profit tool for population control??

Who thinks up these “solutions”? Maybe DC already legalized weed?

Jan 17, 2014 10:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
Fishrl wrote:

Government must operate with the consent of the governed. If most Americans don’t want these programs to continue, they should be shut down whether or not the spooks and their apologists in Congress think it’s in our best interests.

Jan 17, 2014 10:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
SaveRMiddle wrote:

The same leader who appeared on The Leno Show who assured the world there was no warrantless American citizen spy program in place as he grinned and giggled about how absurd the rumors were.

Why bother with warrants when you have an agreement with another country to spy on each others citizens.

This being his version of the Check and Balance system he promised to strengthen.

Jan 17, 2014 10:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
YoungTurkArmy wrote:

Snowden, Man of the Year.

Jan 17, 2014 10:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
NurseFrog1 wrote:

lots of talk…nothing will be changed…nothing to see here people…move along…

Jan 17, 2014 10:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
herbxerx wrote:

@USofRationality

You may be right, but filters can be run on these text messages in order to consolidate the amount of data. I recommend reading the article in The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/16/nsa-collects-millions-text-messages-daily-untargeted-global-sweep

Jan 17, 2014 10:56am EST  --  Report as abuse
NurseFrog1 wrote:

lots of talk…nothing will be changed…nothing to see here people…move along…

Jan 17, 2014 10:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
Redford wrote:

Sure he is…

Jan 17, 2014 11:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
SaveRMiddle wrote:

I hope Reuters will let this thru. A fascinating article from NYT which also (surprisingly) made it into our local paper. Today’s enormous technology capabilities surpass anything Obama will “Unveil” as he sidesteps true action by passing it on to Congress. There is no return to Yesterday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/us/nsa-effort-pries-open-computers-not-connected-to-internet.html?_r=0

Jan 17, 2014 11:12am EST  --  Report as abuse
chrisp114 wrote:

I’m much less bothered by the NSA than I am about Google. I hope everyone realizes that Google is a much greater threat to our privacy than the NSA. Everyone should start supporting privacy-based sites such as Ravetree, DuckDuckGo, HushMail, etc. Go tell your family and friends about why they shouldn’t use Google. The NSA is nothing compared to them.

Jan 17, 2014 11:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
wilhelm wrote:

overhaul
verb |ˌōvərˈhôl| [ with obj. ]
1 take apart (a piece of machinery or equipment) in order to examine it and repair it if necessary:

and having decided that no repairs were necessary, it was back to business as usual at ‘homeland security’…

Jan 17, 2014 11:29am EST  --  Report as abuse
wilhelm wrote:

overhaul
verb |ˌōvərˈhôl| [ with obj. ]
1 take apart (a piece of machinery or equipment) in order to examine it and repair it if necessary:

and having decided that no repairs were necessary, it was back to business as usual at ‘homeland security’…

Jan 17, 2014 11:29am EST  --  Report as abuse
mickdingo wrote:

How can you trust a president that doesn’t even use his real name? Barry Sotorro! Such a douche-bag!

Jan 17, 2014 11:43am EST  --  Report as abuse

Well I guess it is a positive step considering that we may be backing out of these programs slightly, unlike the past 12 years where they just get more and more intrusive.

But honestly this is one of the few areas where Obama has been a disappoint to me. I will not be satisfied till the ‘Patriot’ Act (anything but patriotic) is repealed and DHS is either made MUCH smaller or killed completely. I understand the whole ‘protecting the homeland’, I just believe that changing our way of life, no personal privacy from government snooping, is not protecting the homeland, it is in effect giving the terrorists what they want, scaring us into changing our ideals.

Jan 17, 2014 11:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

@USA, agreed. Repealing or gutting the Patriot Act would be a fantastic coup. I am holding out hope. Slim hope, but…. something there.

Jan 17, 2014 11:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
Mott wrote:

What a beautiful self-correction of this system! Proves to be a day of pride, to be living in this system.

It’s not the traditional 3 way self-corrective system of- legislative – executive – judicial, that brought this change, but the actions a conscious public individual that forced the change in a system that is otherwise, locked-up in complexity of politics, power and abuses there-of.

Jan 17, 2014 12:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
usagadfly wrote:

Why should anyone, including users located inside the USA, purchase any services or technology whatsoever from organizations subject to control by US “Courts”? Perhaps a lack of intelligence?

American courts have shown an overwhelming reluctance to protect any rights at all for the bottom 90% of Americans. So the time has come to use services beyond the “protection” of the failed US Court system. Who can believe anything any of them says?? If you behave like a confidence man, talk like a confidence man, and take like a confidence man, you will be treated like the confidence man you are. Who needs to involuntarily buy “protection” from such people? Which of course is why participation in US Government snoop programs is involuntary, hidden and covert in the first place. They may be dishonest and overwhelmingly arrogant but they are not totally stupid.

Jan 17, 2014 12:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AllenManana wrote:

….. and without Edward Snowden ? Would this have happened?

Jan 17, 2014 12:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse

A president can only do so much through Executive Order (which some people are also in the habit of complaining incessantly about) – any major change to legislation requires congressional action. And unfortunately, congress isn’t really in the business of DOING anything.

Some of you folks want to have your cake and eat it, too; but you can’t criticize the president for congress failing to act, and also criticize him for using executive orders to attempt to fix what congress does not.

That makes you a bunch of hypocrites, and doubly so since you supported these laws and programs when they started, under Bush. Not that I disagree with your complaints now; I just wish your concerns were a little more authentic and that you had joined liberals in opposing the Patriot Act over a decade ago. Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today if you had…

Jan 17, 2014 12:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mb56 wrote:

Setting aside the sheer in workability of the plan… how does putting the phone meta-data in the hands of a third non-government party protect us? THE DATA WILL STILL EXIST TO BE NATIONALIZED BY THE WHIMS OF ANY FUTURE ADMINISTRATION/CONGRESS.

Jan 17, 2014 12:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Vult68 wrote:

Lets see. For 5 years he is briefed on information obtained by spying on world leaders and says nothing – does nothing. Suddenly it becomes public knowledge and he holds a press conference and announces an end. What was he doing for 5 years.

Doesn’t matter who started it – after 5 years you own it.

Jan 17, 2014 12:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SpudM wrote:

Another powerless, meaningless committee. Another waste of time and taxpayers money.

Jan 17, 2014 12:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ronald_T_West wrote:

So Obama promises not to spy specifically on allied “Heads of state” but does not say he won’t spy on their aides, department heads, et cetera… this man has too easily lied, too often, too completely to ever be believed (and when are the extra-judicial assassinations going to stop?) ‘Rule of law’ and the Obama administration are mutually exclusive concepts

Ronald Thomas West-

Jan 17, 2014 12:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SaveRMiddle wrote:

Reasons for Issuing Executive Orders

Presidents typically issue executive orders for one of these purposes:

1. Operational management of the executive branch
2. Operational management of federal agencies or officials
3. To carry out statutory or constitutional presidential responsibilities

Obama doesn’t need Congress to make the changes he speaks of. He has chosen to publicly distance himself from NSA. A growing list of Punts.

Jan 17, 2014 1:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mb56 wrote:

Bottom line: Foreign leaders will be given more deference than the American people, and the rest will be punted to the BIGGEST DO NOTHING CONGRESS IN HISTORY. Heaven help us….

Jan 17, 2014 1:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
aidtopia wrote:

We need to fix the underlying laws that (supposedly) allowed these types of operations in the first place. Having the President direct the NSA to change the operating procedures does not address the long-term problem. The next administration could change it again, secretly. And what about the programs we don’t know about yet or are still learning about?

Jan 17, 2014 1:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
NCMAN64 wrote:

I think most of us know that Obama cannot be trusted. He has a problem with common sense and lying to the American people.

Jan 17, 2014 1:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Whatsgoingon wrote:

“Obama bans spying on leaders of U.S. allies, scales back NSA program.” Will this make any difference? What’s the definition of “allies?” Bin Laden used to be on CIA payroll, was he an ally? Is Germany an ally? Brazil, China? Are we going to see a list?
Just weeks ago we were told that NSA program didn’t exist. As long as the liars are still on their posts, nothing has changed, and nothing will.

Jan 17, 2014 1:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

Ronald_T_West: Consider what USofRationality is saying in his post (above). Obama heads the Executive branch. If you want legislation, look to Congress. The fact that you’ll criticize Obama on this, despite him being the only one doing something about it, rather than Congress says more about you than anything else.

Sadly, when the next act of terrorism occurs against the US, people like yourself will be the first to blame Obama, and there will be conservative pundits with vaguely linked details drawing a line from Obama’s executive order to the terrorist attack. The conservative sheeple will wonder aloud why no prosecutor is going after Obama in connection to the terrorist attack. The stupidity from the right is like an endless geyser spewing sh_t.

Jan 17, 2014 1:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
truthfighter wrote:

If you think this man is going to give up any of his power in anyway shape or form, you need to slap yourself and wake up. As far as I see it he has not told the truth about anything since he took office.
Now you think he has seen the light and he is going to be honest.
Well good luck with that. All his talking and reforms is only for the people and his rating and nothing else.

Jan 17, 2014 1:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
archiebird wrote:

As with all this administrations promises, too little too late.

Jan 17, 2014 1:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
4825 wrote:

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t happens when you lie to the public. Does not matter your party affiliation, if you lie, you lose the public trust, except for the blind sheep of course. Look at Bush senior. He lied about “Read my lips, no new taxes” and never recovered. Obama has lied to the public on many occasions and will not retain the public trust with the exception of you few sheep.

Jan 17, 2014 2:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
cbj wrote:

What they need to do is get Al Gore’s lock box out of the attic, dust it off and put all of the data in there.

Really?
You people need a reality check.

Jan 17, 2014 2:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RobertFrost wrote:

So, to maintain one’s privacy, it would be necessary for one to become a foreign leader, or a member of the government of an allied nation.

The idea that the government will not “hold” private data about individuals is rather meaningless, since the data will be held somewhere, reportedly by the telephone social network companies and would be delivered to the NSA whenever it needed it… Just as they do today, only that very long-term storage would be expected to be stored by these companies rather than the NSA!

Given that the specialist Court empowered to prevent undue intrusion in the private lives of citizens does not function, as the judge stated, and that the NSA often ignores his or her ruling, this suggests that President Obama hoped to give the citizens of the USA an aspirin which after analysis turned out to be placebo.

One of the features of our democracy is that the president is simply powerless to confront the Establishment. From Kennedy, whose Secretary of State Hariman simply ignored his requests, to Reagan, whose notes to Andropov were edited by his “advisers,” and now Mr. Obama who could not rein in the NSA despite the fact that in the last 12 years it failed to uncover more than a single “plot,” according to Senator Leahy.

And the erosion of civil liberties continues!

Jan 17, 2014 2:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
snr357 wrote:

If surveillance is to be used for terrorism inside and outside USA, why it can’t be used for murders, thefts, robberies, rapes, cyber crimes etc. ?

Jan 17, 2014 2:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
4825 wrote:

@UsofPragmatist2- Thank you for making my point about the blind sheep.

Jan 17, 2014 2:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
izrahim wrote:

Tell it to the Marines.

Jan 17, 2014 2:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
izrahim wrote:

Tell it to the Marines.

Jan 17, 2014 2:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sc00termac wrote:

Let me guess: “If you like your privacy, you can keep your privacy. Period.”

Jan 17, 2014 2:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
VultureTX wrote:

RobertFrost is correct

as it stands today , so it will be in the future TELCOs (INTERNET servies like Google/ Yahoo) hold the data, but have fat fiber pipes to the NSA that are open 24/7.

But wait it gets better, the NSA budget pays for access to the data and for it’s retention. So yeah the NSA is using the “Cloud” owned by private companies so that they don’t have actual possesion, just exclusive usage of that data.

Jan 17, 2014 2:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Mylena wrote:

I do not know why those theorically methods are published, because, the last time that I noticed, the authorities ca do it without notice to everyone that they consider a treat.

Jan 17, 2014 3:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xcanada2 wrote:

I don’t believe that it is only phone meta-data, and not phone converstaions that the government is collecting, or planning to collect. The Bluffdale NSA facility costs enough, and has enough incoming power, to support recording of all phone conversations of the 6 billion inhabitants of the world for the next 25 years. So, what besides Snowdon would prevent them from such recording?

Besides, why should our American telephone conversations be recorded when we speak to foreigners? We are still violated.

And, what gives us the right to record foreign telephone conversations. The whole operation absolutely stinks. It is a travesty of the democracy and human dignity we nominally stand for.

The US government needs to get out of the personal business of its citizens, and just as much so, out of the personal business of the rest of the world: GD snoops!

Jan 17, 2014 3:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
4825 wrote:

More sheep have arrived. Wonder if we have enough sheep dogs.

@VultureTX- You are correct, the NSA budget pays for the retention. The only point to add is that we who work and pay taxes, pay for the NSA budget.

Jan 17, 2014 3:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WhyMeLord wrote:

OMG, the NRA is worried that gun registration will lead to eventual confiscation of all guns by “Big Brother”; what about what metadata collection by the NSA? Sooner, not later, “Big Brother” will be able to roundup any group they have an issue with, such as right-to-life advocates, or gun owners, or boy scout leaders, or Methodists, or subway conductors, you name it, they will have a list of members.
Not until NSA is shut down and the records destroyed will we be safe.

Jan 17, 2014 3:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ByeBye_USA wrote:

Riiight.

POS

Jan 17, 2014 3:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Stickystones wrote:

Oh my, you people on the LEFT are really getting defensive lately! Must be that your hero’s approval rating is sinking to new lows and it is mainly due to independents and democrats. At the rate he’s failing, excuse me ‘falling’, he’ll likely end up worse than Bush the Ignorant.

With the Patriot Act and the NSA, any party could have done what no party did and they are both to blame for this debacle. Are we going to have SCOTUS settle this like all the other things Congress and the President won’t deal with?

Jan 17, 2014 3:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Overcast451 wrote:

It’s nice to know foreign leaders have more rights in the US; than it’s own citizens.

Thanks Obama, you’re great…

Jan 17, 2014 4:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
cbj wrote:

Am I the only one who sees the logical dissonance in those who want a government capable of having all of its citizens private health data with the power of the checkbook over who gets what and for how long and yet want a government unable to glean the data from the airwaves (which IS public domain).

People, the data is out there and you can’t cram it back into the bottle.
Sure, the government promises not to do it again and to forget any information they have collected and you morons believe it.

Why should it surprise me? Your government is your buddy, your pal, it tucks you in at night and blows you sugar kisses.
How you can despise the government powerful enough to spy on you yet embrace the very same demon when it gives you candy is beyond any ability to reason.

Jan 17, 2014 4:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Whatsgoingon wrote:

@cbj you are not. The divide, as we can read from just the posts here, is very simple. Do we want the original free America, or a socialism pig farm?
By pushing ACA and NSA under the name of “social safety” Obama is building a pig farm where everyone gets room and board for free, at the expense of being monitored 24×7. To pigs whose final destination is the slaughter house, what’s the meaning of “privacy?”
Obama didn’t invent the pig farm, and quite a few reached promising heights – still remember the Soviet Union?
Everything about the farm is promising. The fundamental problem is, when we all become pigs in the farm, who’s going to feed us? Can we borrow from the Chinese forever?

Jan 17, 2014 4:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
justin2013 wrote:

How about banning spying on law-abiding citizens. Anyone in power remember the Constitution and rule of law?

Jan 17, 2014 5:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xcanada2 wrote:

Regards bickering between Americans of different political parties:
It reminds of the fights between Shiites and Sunnis.

And, it is probably brought about by similar forces: divided they fall. In this case, it is the American people who are falling to the corporate forces of the elite. This bickering is just a distraction, and it is sad to see so many people taking the bait.

There is little difference between Repubs and Demos; they represent the elite one way or the other, who are bent on controlling and subjugating the 99 percent like sheep. NSA spying will continue until we recognize that it is nothing to do with which party is in power: there is only the elite party.

Jan 17, 2014 5:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sjfella wrote:

What’s this, a convention of Obama’s shills? Thank goodness there are still some folks out there that don’t have their heads up their butts or in his.

Jan 17, 2014 5:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
4825 wrote:

USofRationality- Thank you again for making my point about the blind sheep.

Jan 17, 2014 5:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@AlkalineState and @Flashrooster

“Obama does what GW Bush does. Democrat party does a complete 180 and supports the same policies and tactics that they wanted to incarcerate GW Bush and Cheney for.”

Jan 17, 2014 6:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dd606 wrote:

A handful of comments on the story about thousands of people’s card data getting stolen by hackers… Moving towards 100+ comments posted, from people whining about their worthless old phone bills being stored.

Yeah, people really know how to prioritize.

The media has really become expert at knowing how to stir up all the ‘police state’ nuts.

Jan 17, 2014 6:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Whatsgoingon wrote:

@flash what’s your logic. Building a pig farm is right because GWB did the same thing? Is Obama protecting the Patriot Act because he’s afraid of getting blamed? He’s got more blames from his ACA, why didn’t he repeal it?

Jan 17, 2014 6:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@USAPragmatist2

“That makes you a bunch of hypocrites, and doubly so since you supported these laws and programs when they started, under Bush. Not that I disagree with your complaints now; I just wish your concerns were a little more authentic and that you had joined liberals in opposing the Patriot Act over a decade ago.’”

Let me get this straight. You disagree with Obama on renewing the Patriot Act and signing in new laws that further expands the powers of the US and military over its citizens directly, calling the US a war zone, and giving the executive office the capability to hold any US citizen indefinitely without a trial. Forgive me, but I do not remember you protesting that much when those stories surfaced. And I have been against the Patriot Act since day one. That is a good thing about being third party/independent. I don’t have to be a hypocrite like most Republicans and Democrats.

Jan 17, 2014 6:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
onlyif wrote:

“Obama bans spying on leaders of U.S. allies” – but not the citizens of those countries? Hmmmm… Not good enough.

That’s why I’m slowly migrating away from US made products/services.

You just ain’t the America i was taught about as a kid… the whole beacon of freedom and all that. How sad, but i guess that’s the price of Empire.

Jan 17, 2014 7:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
PaulBradley wrote:

@onlyif wrote: ” . . .I’m slowly migrating away from US made products/services.

WOW – - You actually try to protect yourself from spying? The manufacturing of all kinds of gadgets, whether it been you car, cellphone or whatever contain parts made in all kinds of countries and all kinds of people, therefore, all of the manufacturing ‘participants’ making a finished product or providing a service, have the opportunity to embed some sort of ‘spying’ element – it’s called GLOBALIZATION!

So, what’s the difference if who is doing it are the Israelis, Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Americans, Germans, etc., etc. or a combination of some or all of the above?

Jan 17, 2014 7:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MitchS wrote:

Great. The guy who campaigned in 2007 about ending illegal wiretapping by the government on U.S. citizens, but later claims to not have known anything about it until Snowden revealed what was going on and now with presidential edict, says there will be more oversight and “transparency” of the NSA by the very office that ALREADY has oversight of the agency. Oh yes, and AG Eric Holder, the one who was in charge of Fast and Furious, is going to be the go-to guy on this. Who is Obama trying to fool?

Jan 17, 2014 7:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@onlyif

“That’s why I’m slowly migrating away from US made products/services.”

The US doesn’t make many products anymore. Just about everything made by Apple is made in China.

Jan 17, 2014 8:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pipeman wrote:

the beige puppet is a liar

Jan 17, 2014 8:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Jocomus wrote:

And surveillance of US by Israel is more than the other way round. With this ban, Obama’s revamp plan is bound to meet bold resistance from NSA/CIA, while felt dubious by allied leaders.

Jan 17, 2014 9:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Art16 wrote:

Reading everyone’s comments, I am reassured that my thinking has been reinforced by other independent people who have not forgotten how to think for themselves. Junior High Obama, out lower case president, does it again, saying nothing with lots of words, gesticulations, facial expressions, and no substance that inspires confidence we are anywhere closer to resolving this thorny issue than ever. If I had the power, which I do not, I would fire Junior High Obama and put him on unemployment. If he were in industry, anywhere, he would have been dismissed long ago. I hope the world does not believe a word he says, because many people in the US do not. What more can be said other than he will compete for last place in the roster of all US Presidents, the worst of which were far more qualified, honorable, truthful, and effective than Junior High Obama could ever hope to be. It is a sad commentary on blind faith politics that is making the US suffer through this ignominious time in its history.

Jan 17, 2014 9:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
PaulBradley wrote:

@jacomus

Israel spying? Of course – - All nations/governments spy on another – - -

Every government with electronic surveillance capabilities is spying against other governments, including ostensible allies, and after civilians and commercial companies. What puts the NSA in a class of its own are the sheer extent and impressive capabilities the American superpower’s reach.
See: http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/.premium-1.553867

In the latest extraordinary twist in the global eavesdropping scandal, Israeli agents are said to have intercepted more than 70 million calls and text messages a month.
Up until now the French have been blaming the U.S., even summoning the country’s Paris ambassador to provide an explanation.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2477013/Was-ISRAEL-hacking-millions-French-phones-NOT-U-S–Extraordinary-twist-spying-saga-revealed.html

Jan 17, 2014 9:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
PaulBradley wrote:

@Art16

I understand your ‘grievance’ via comment you posted. However, you don’t realize that ALL politicians, including wannabes, are PROTECTED for lying and lawsuits for such speaking, by the U.S. law which, in so many words states – - you can’t sue for lying or perjury a public official as long as the ‘politician’ believed to made misleading statement for the populace’s ‘greater good’ !!!!!

So, politician = liar = someone protected by our law!!!

Jan 17, 2014 10:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Verpoly wrote:

Can’t buy this minor adjustment instead of a major reform from Obama. It is just the same prescription in a different package that pleases no one except maybe Abe.

Jan 18, 2014 1:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
nottosmart wrote:

I don’t worry about the NSA tracking me. I am worried about FACEBOOK, GOOGLE and the like tracking me. I am worried about Target and local supermarkets tracking me.

Jan 18, 2014 4:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
umkomazi wrote:

Let’s face it – Obama is just another politician – and – if a politician is breathing then they are LYING!

All the NSA / Stasi will do is play semantics, redefine a few parameters with poncy words & carry on as they have been – Obama is as trustworthy, like his predecessor George Warmonger Bush, as rattlesnake with a bad headache whilst suffering from PMT. If he told me today was Saturday, I’d assume he was lying!

Jan 18, 2014 6:02am EST  --  Report as abuse
umkomazi wrote:

@onlyif wrote: ” . . .I’m slowly migrating away from US made products/services.

DON’T by Chinese – it’s almost certainly stuffed with spyware!

Jan 18, 2014 6:03am EST  --  Report as abuse
AZreb wrote:

Hey, “close friends and allies”, if you believe that then please check maps of the US and I have some oceanfront properties for sale – some in AZ and some in UT.

Jan 18, 2014 8:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
google_pass wrote:

@4825
The most fun is, that probably you’ve payed not only for the nsa, but also for some of all these comments, which by the way proves already that us-citizens and foreigners won’t be treated as the same.

Jan 18, 2014 11:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
google_pass wrote:

@PaulBradley
You mention neighbor on neighbor spying. In fact Joseph Goebbels was one step ahead. He has invented the children on parents spying. However, thanks to the smartnet, we don’t need children to do that job.

Jan 18, 2014 12:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SaveRMiddle wrote:

An honest leader with integrity would have made these changes prior to Edward Snowden. I’ll be glad when this arrogant, inspirational speaker’s term is over.

Jan 18, 2014 12:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
google_pass wrote:

I don’t want to be called a friend of a thief.

Jan 18, 2014 1:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Zeggs wrote:

And all is forgiven…

Jan 18, 2014 1:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ineeditbad wrote:

Oh man…Most Everyone that Commented agrees with what I read…This has got to be the LAMEST response yet from Obama…Our “Rights” were lost long ago…
Pardon Snowden

Jan 18, 2014 1:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xcanada2 wrote:

There are several fundamental problems with the NSA spying program:

1. Invasion of personal privacy. The NSA program and evident objectives, including recording of all personal communications, terminates individual privacy. Any person’s most intimate conversations are subject to recording and analysis by NSA or police personnel. Incipient corruption of this system will allow access by anybody against another, limited by ability to pay. Even now, there can be no expectation that an individual’s conversations are not being recorded and analyzed. This a a fundamental attack on human personal interactions.

2. Destruction of free political action and thought. Not everybody will agree with the Occupy Wall Street movement, anti-free trade supporters, socialists, Keynes or Hayek support groups, anti-abortion, pro- or anti-Zionism, or NRA positions. But most Americans would agree that these groups should be able to plan peaceful demonstrations and conduct campaigns for their positions without surveillance and resultant attacks from the government. It is clear enough that our government is largely under the control of corporate, neoliberal interests, and we know that there guiding principle is to do whatever they can get away with to further their economic goals. The government will legally and illegally cutoff political efforts they disagree with, and blackmail their leaders. The NSA program is a slippery slope to fascism.

3. Trust of government by the American people. The US government is being regarded as the enemy, rather than the supporter, of the people more every day. A spy is a spy. If the US government spies on its people, it will be hated for that. There appear to be few limits on the NSA spying on us. We may be discussing collection of metadata, which is by itself a huge invasion of privacy, but we also can be sure that there are secret court agreements which we have not yet been informed of, providing NSA more leeway. We have recently learned that all email may be recorded. I expect all telephone conversations are planned by some in the NSA, and perhaps already in progress.

4. Destruction of trust among nations. We see this growing daily.

And what do the American people get out of NSA spying? There are few, if any, so-called terrorist attacks that have been thwarted through the program. The vast majority of incipient “terrorist” attacks discovered in the US have been actually been instigated by the US government through programs inciting disaffected young men and woman to violence, and providing funding and means to them. The American people get very little; the 1% preserve their system of privilege.

Even, we don’t really know what role the US government played in the Boston Marathon bombing.

It is clear that our assassination programs, false-pretense wars, attempts to starve nations into submission, spying on the world, 700 or so foreign military bases, CIA agent in all our embassies, false-flag operations, inciting wars directly with and in collaboration with dictator friends, paying for the creation and arming of Islamic radicals, inciting sectarian strife, is going to lead to attacks on Americans. How could it be otherwise?! Rather, America could be a beacon of ethics, good-will, and fair-competition in the world: this would very clearly be in the moral interests of the American 99%, make them safer, and even be much more efficient economically for them.

The NSA program is just another example of the failure of our democracy and of our economic system, to serve the interests of the huge majority of Americans.

Jan 18, 2014 2:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
google_pass wrote:

The allied world will release you and your country from suppression.

Jan 18, 2014 2:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ineeditbad wrote:

Dear Sir,
THANK YOU FOR THESE WORDS:) Well Delivered. I Would Love to See Obama Unemployed…With No resources because what he had was used to survive over his two terms, by Good Hard Working People!

Art16 wrote:

“Reading everyone’s comments, I am reassured that my thinking has been reinforced by other independent people who have not forgotten how to think for themselves. Junior High Obama, out lower case president, does it again, saying nothing with lots of words, gesticulations, facial expressions, and no substance that inspires confidence we are anywhere closer to resolving this thorny issue than ever. If I had the power, which I do not, I would fire Junior High Obama and put him on unemployment. If he were in industry, anywhere, he would have been dismissed long ago. I hope the world does not believe a word he says, because many people in the US do not. What more can be said other than he will compete for last place in the roster of all US Presidents, the worst of which were far more qualified, honorable, truthful, and effective than Junior High Obama could ever hope to be. It is a sad commentary on blind faith politics that is making the US suffer through this ignominious time in its history.”

Jan 18, 2014 2:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Leatherrope wrote:

Yep, no more spying on foreign leaders (~wink ~wink)

Jan 18, 2014 4:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Leatherrope wrote:

And when will Clapper be charged for lying to Congress when he gave sworn testimony?

Jan 18, 2014 4:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

The speech was a good one, and it appears many serious revisions were made to the NSA’s working guidelines. Balancing security and privacy will continue to be a difficult issue going forward. At this point, the US is being more open about intelligence than any other country in the world.

Jan 18, 2014 5:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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