White House unveils plan to end NSA's bulk collection of phone data

Comments (25)
Mott wrote:

Thanks to Snowden?

Mar 27, 2014 9:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SaveRMiddle wrote:

[would allow the government to ask for phone data WITHOUT a court order in the case of a national security emergency, and would compel phone companies to provide data quickly]

And what ISN’T considered a national security emergency?

Obama-The King of Deception.

Mar 27, 2014 10:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse

Permanent solutions require legislation.

Legislation requires congressional action

Congress doesn’t want to do anything Obama asks for, even if they want it too.

Or who knows, maybe congress WANTS these unconstitutional surveillance programs – lord knows they’ve voted for it enough times, going back to 2003 – maybe they just want to complain about it and pass the blame on to the president.

Mar 27, 2014 10:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
adamrussell wrote:

Is it too late for GOP to come out against elimination of bulk data collection?

Mar 27, 2014 10:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
bigsurleo wrote:

What joke. Even if this does go through this takes us only back to Reagan. 1987-on when at&t had to store all phone records. Then fisa would still be ruling on when to allow nsa to access these records. When do you think FISA has ever said no to the nsa? Yes it was Reagan’s presidency that oversaw this for everyone out there who’s attention span has been reduced to seconds by the over reporting of things that are not news and this was continued through Bush Sr and Clinton. It even predates 9-11. I learned about this in Jr. high school. Why do people act so surprised by this government intrusion on our lives.

Mar 27, 2014 10:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
bigsurleo wrote:

So far my comment which has yet to be posted contains far more factual and relative info than any of the previous posts. I wonder why mine was not posted.

Mar 27, 2014 10:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
bigsurleo wrote:

Sounds like phone companies just got turned back into defense contractors. Reagan would be proud.

Mar 27, 2014 10:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
lemonfemale wrote:

And, assuming such a law is passed, what part of it will he waive? Or unilaterally delay? The fact ( I think) that he just doesn’t say he has a pan and a phone and can’t wait around for Congress to act says he really does not want these restrictions and therefore it will not come about. That’s one major problem blocking immigration reform. Obama’s word is not good. People believe that if they pass a “pathway to citizenship” coupled with stricter enforcement that Obama will suspend enforcement and keep the pathway.

Mar 27, 2014 11:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
bigsurleo wrote:


Mar 27, 2014 11:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JeffHB wrote:

Unless we sanction foreign countries that spy on US Citizens, this is meaningless. We will just trade data with the Brits and spy on each others’ citizens to assuage the libertarians.

The real problem is the existence of secret government programs on a vast scale that are hidden from the public and that members of congress are legally precluded from talking about.

The only way we will ever be able to control our government is if Putin and Snowden open up a web based search engine so we can find out what our intelligence agencies are up to. That’s the irony. Our enemies already know what the NSA is doing. the only folks in the dark are the folks who pay the bills. . . .

Might as well give up. Thanks to John Roberts and Citizens United, American government is permanently out of control and permanently aligned against the interests of the vast majority of its citizens.

If you want privacy, you are just going to have to get off the internet and stop talking on the phone.

Mar 27, 2014 11:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Wesee wrote:


Mar 27, 2014 11:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Agoraphobic wrote:

Telecom companies have been storing data of communications for years. Why doesn’t the government simply ask for access to their recordings?

Mar 27, 2014 12:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
diluded0000 wrote:

Who falls for this? They are still saving and searching the entire internet, even the encrypted part, without a warrant. And as Reuters already reported the Special Operations Division of the DEA is using ‘parallel reconstruction’ to prosecute US citizens with illegally collected data from the NSA.

Oh, but we are going to stop saving phone metadata on government servers, since we can get it from the phone company anyway. Way to show some bipartisan unity! This ticks me off so bad that I’m struggling not to write a string of obscenities right now.

Mar 27, 2014 12:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
voided wrote:

oh phone data, how nice, considering the wealth of information is from the INTERNET not PHONES anymore!!!

Mar 27, 2014 12:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Skeeter2 wrote:

At least until the next person reveals that they didn’t really stop…

Mar 27, 2014 12:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Dehumanist wrote:

Funny how few people really cared about this until Obama was President…

Mar 27, 2014 12:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ScottSinnock wrote:

Great cost savings to help pay for my pension. Enlist the telecoms as your spys. Transfer the cost to private industry, they are closer to the data anyway, so have even better unfettered access to EVERYTHING, I mean every keystroke, and pixel. ISP’s had that from the beginning. So letting the “pros” collect the data is a wonderful strategy, cheaper better data. And all companies want to be good law abiding citizens of their community, don’t they?

Mar 27, 2014 1:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Sonorama wrote:


And you can thank Bush Jr. for the Patriot Act… Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Mar 27, 2014 2:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SaveRMiddle wrote:


Indeed. Both members of The Zero Integrity Liars Club.

Mar 27, 2014 3:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
yourtruth wrote:

The NSA will still have access authorized by unidentified judges. The last and only hope for the 4th amendment lies in the supreme court growing some stones.

Mar 27, 2014 6:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JohnStarkMD wrote:

But, how do you tell if they really stopped? There is NO oversight. They do whatever they want.

BTW: The bill sez that the NSA stops, but the Phone companies start and keep it until asked for it. SAME DEAL!

Mar 27, 2014 8:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JuliaClark wrote:

President Obama also said he would assist whistleblowers and has been THE harshest president ever against federal whistleblowers.

Mar 27, 2014 10:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bakhtin wrote:

The NSA was not collecting phone data. Only meta-data. The difference is crucial.

Meta-data is the number placing the call, the number receiving the call, and the time. It matters because this is (legally, in the USA) publicly available information, that every service provider obtains because they need it to make the connection and then send the bill. It is not the service provider spying on you.

In the USA, as it is seen as publicly available information it does not need any sort of warrant to obtain, so the NSA can legally hoover it all up. In the EU, the same information is viewed as a private arrangement between service user and service provider. The user agrees that the provider can have that information but nobody else – the service provider is not at liberty to pass your information to anybody else. (This, incidentally, is why there was so much friction with the Bush regime over air passenger details. Under EU law, that information was between the passenger and the airline only, but when it was provided to the US authorities they shared it with everybody.)

What Obama is doing is moving to a position closer to the EU, in which the meta-data can no longer be routinely collected and used by a government agency, but now requires a court order to obtain specific information directly from the carriers.

This is an increase in individual freedom and a decrease in government power.

Mar 27, 2014 11:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ready2013 wrote:

I concur with your conclusion…but sometimes and under certain conditions I am willing to give up some individual freedoms to have a more secure country…
one of those conditions is a country’s leadership – can it be trusted.
we all give up freedoms for the sake of security and safety. we do it daily.

Mar 28, 2014 1:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ScottSinnock wrote:

I have a proposal to advance democracy and perhaps place America’s beacon back on the hilltop as a guide rather than a spy’s spotlight. No more government secrets and any kind. No secret memos, letters, emails, drawings, meeting minutes, phone conversations, or any other recorded information. Information is power, so “power to the people”. Oh yes, I know, the military needs secrets to protect us from those that want to harm us. Plus power in today’s government is based on one’s security clearance, so the power brokers will fight to retain their power. Nope, I don’t relent. No secrets, atomic bomb plans and all. Let us advance democracy a huge amount, and stop all this secret government stuff. But I fear the trend is the other way. Doesn’t our government trust us? the people? Are we too ignorant? or immoral? to understand our governments secrets?

Great idea, huh. Implementation? You know what “fat chance” means?

Mar 28, 2014 2:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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