On Friday, United States President Barack Obama unveiled new measures he says will increase transparency and build public trust in government surveillance programs.
President Obama told a packed room of journalists at the White House Friday afternoon that he will work to reform Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the provision that currently allows the federal government”s intelligence agencies to collect domestic phone data.
Additionally, Pres. Obama said he will work to increase oversight with regards to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secretive judicial body that authorizes the government to collect data on communications coming in and out of the United States.
“We can and must be more transparent,” the president told the media.
In order to accomplish as much, Pres. Obama said the reform will be accompanied with the roll-out of a new website that will provide Americans and people around the world the ability to learn more about the surveillance programs. Meanwhile, the president said the US will “make public as much information about these programs as possible.”
Commenting on the leaked National Security Agency documents that sparked a widespread public discussion on government surveillance practices starting two months ago, the president had harsh word for the man attributed with those releases and challenged the method he went about disclosing them.
“No, I don”t think Mr. Snowden was a patriot,” Pres. Obama said. “I called for a thorough review of our surveillance operations before Mr. Snowden made these leaks. My preference, and I think the American people”s preference, would have been for a lawful, orderly examination of these laws. A thoughtful, fact-based debate that would then lead us to a better place.”
“So the fact is that Mr. Snowden has been charged with three felonies,” added Obama. “If in fact he believes that what he did was right, then like every American citizen he can come here, appear before a court with a lawyer and make his case. If the concern was that somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public, I signed an executive order well before Mr. Snowden leaked this information that provided whistleblower protection to the intelligence community for the first time. So there were other avenues available for someone whose conscious was stirred.”
Edward Snowden, Pres. Obama
We don’t want more transparency about the crimes, we want the damn crimes to stop! No more searches without probable cause!
Give us one example of an illegal program that was shut down due to your “available avenues” for intel workers, mr prez. No one internally has complained about bloody forced tube feedings at Gitmo? How exactly do you protect whistleblowers? Give them the long run around? With threats? Throw them in jail? Everyone who cares to has seen the “protection” in action, Mr smooth criminal. Isn’t it obvious Snowden did it the way he did because others before him like Kiriakou were handled the way they were?
Do us a favor: Take your lip service and shove it in that PRISM.