sparked the exposure, the debate, the dialogue that obviously has to happen in Obama's "more transparent government".
One of his biggest lapses was his refusal to acknowledge that his entire speech, and all of the important changes he now advocates, would never have happened without the disclosures by Mr. Snowden, who continues to live in exile and under the threat of decades in prison if he returns to this country.
The president’s most significant announcement was also the hardest to parse. He ordered “a transition that will end” the bulk collection of phone metadata as it currently exists, but what exactly will end? The database will still exist, even if he said he wants it held outside the government. Mr. Obama should have called for sharp reductions in the amount of data the government collects, or at least adopted his own review panel’s recommendation that telecommunications companies keep the data they create and let the National Security Agency request only what it needs. Instead, he gave the Justice Department and intelligence officials until late March to come up with alternate storage options, seeking a new answer when the best ones are already obvious.
But he added two restrictions that could significantly reduce the possibility of abuse of this information: Wherever the database resides, he said, it may be queried only “after a judicial finding or in the case of a true emergency.” (That calls for a clear definition of “emergency.”) Agency analysts will be permitted to pursue phone calls that are two “hops” removed from a number associated with a terrorist organization, instead of three. That extra hop allowed for the examination of an exponentially larger number of phone calls.
Mr. Obama did not address the bigger problem that the collection of all this data, no matter who ends up holding onto it, may not be making us any safer.
Several of the presidential review panel’s key recommendations were not addressed on Friday. The panel said a court order should be required to search through Americans’ emails or calls that are incidentally intercepted; the president called only for unspecified reforms. He rejected the recommendation that judges sign off on the subpoenas used by the F.B.I. to demand business records, known as national security letters, saying only that they should be less secret. That doesn’t go nearly far enough to curb these orders, which have been abused."Th Th Th THAT"S ALL FOLKS!"
UNfortunately it's this hideous nonsense that will be Obama's sad legacy: A gigantic, expensive, clearly out of control rogue agency which in spite of all of the evidence of "need" pointing to the contrary, will proceed with vacuuming up every bit of personal data available on We the People. and they will do it forever.
I don't know what else to conclude from this travesty, this vigorous stomping on our right to privacy, other than obviously the Empire is desperate.. apparently we the sappy taxpayers are to be feared and we are not to be told the whole truth by whistle blowers like Mr. Snowden. we are NOT to know what's going on out there in the wild, wooly world of what passes for great foreign policy and of course what the MIC and their proxies are up to.
So now we have this Frankenstein monster which Sen. Rand Paul happens to be right about: "It's not who gets to hold the data, I don't want it collected at all".
and so as I indicated before, this monster drives the final nail into the coffin of the MIA LIBERAL LEFT in our nation. Snowden's significant gift to what's left of our Republic is like casting pearls before swine....