President Obama is considering ending NSA surveillance. The National Security Agency was outed last month by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden for using multiple channels to spy on American citizens and foreign and domestic figures alike.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) of the Senate Intelligence Committee made the statement that Obama was considering ending surveillance programs last Thursday. A staunch supporter of individual privacy, Wyden also noted that “privacy and civil liberties advocates could be on the verge of ‘making a comeback,’” as the Obama Administration has seen a surge of backlash from privacy advocates as a result of the NSA leaks.
Although the president has backed the NSA surveillance programs, Wyden believes that if Obama were to repeal the programs it will be a watershed moment in the “war against privacy.”
Since the leaks, Wyden, and fellow senator Mark Udall (D-CO.) have been diligent in their pursuit of agency transparency. Last month, the two senators wrote a letter to NSA Director Keith Alexander pushing “to make revisions to a set of fact sheets” that were intended to outline how the government implemented Section 702, which is “procedure for authorizing certain acquisitions of foreign intelligence.” Wyden and Udall composed and sent the letter to Alexander, noting that the “fact sheet contains an inaccurate statement about how the section 702 authority has been interpreted by the US government.”