Speed Reads

surveillance state

ACLU dings Obama for failing to reform the NSA

This time last year, President Obama promised he'd take action to reform the broad, scary spying habits of the National Security Agency (NSA). At the time, his promises were met with little enthusiasm from civil liberties advocates, who deemed most of his plans far too limited.

On Tuesday of this week, Obama followed up with additional new rules for the NSA, modest changes which have received widespread dismissal as a failure to actually rein in the surveillance agency. Notably, the reforms do not stop warrantless bulk data collection on millions of innocent people and though they do theoretically limit retention of data about Americans, no such protection is offered to vast numbers of people the NSA monitors around the world.

The new rules "clearly show that the government continues to stand by a number of its troubling mass surveillance policies, despite mounting evidence that many of these programs are ineffective," said Neema Singh Guliani of the ACLU.