“The White House promised Friday that it was ending the NSA’s most controversial surveillance program ‘as it currently exists,” James Oliphant reports for National Journal. But make no mistake, it’s still going to exist.”

“In fact, what President Obama has announced will have little operational effect on the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ data. And, significantly, the administration has attempted to dodge some of the biggest decisions, passing the ball to Congress, which will likely do nothing if recent trends hold,” Oliphant reports. “The president didn’t come close to what privacy advocates have wanted—a sharp culling of the program or its outright termination. Instead, the goal of Friday’s announcement — as it has always been — was to reassure a skittish public both here and abroad that the program is being used responsibly. ‘This is a capability that needs to be preserved,” a senior administration official said.'”

“The president made two major policy prescriptions. First, he called for the data to be housed somewhere other than within the government. Second, he said before the NSA can search the calling-record database, it should obtain judicial approval,” Oliphant reports. “To the first, the president would not specify where the data will be ultimately stored. He wants the Justice Department and the intelligence community to come up with a proposal within 60 days… To the second of Obama’s measures, judicial oversight will come in the form of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which critics say acts as a rubber stamp for government surveillance requests, rather than by more independent-minded federal judges on other courts.”

“Most important, many of the recommendations the president made Friday are perishable,” Oliphant reports. “Ultimately Congress will have to determine the data-collection and storage issues and other major elements of the program, including the procedures of the FISA court, when it reauthorizes the NSA program this spring at the end of the 60-day window outlined by the president.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Blah, blah, blah. More pablum for the masses. Nothing of substance.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Visit the Apple-backed reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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