Edward Snowden is all but spiking the ball on Obama in what National Journal calls “his crusade against government spying….”
With Obama announcing the ending the collection of domestic phone records in bulk, Snowden said, “This is a turning point, and it marks the beginning of a new effort to reclaim our rights from the NSA and restore the public’s seat at the table of government.”
He added: “Congress is considering historic, albeit incomplete reforms. And President Obama has now confirmed that these mass surveillance programs, kept secret from the public and defended out of reflex rather than reason, are in fact unnecessary and should be ended.”
The change means that while he NSA can access data on specific targets, the bulk collection of phone records will remain with the phone companies. An order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will be required to obtain targeted data.
Snowden, 30, became an overnight household name in June 2013, after leaking about 1.7 million top-secret documents he downloaded when employed in Hawaii by government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. A torrent of news reports exposing the government’s surveillance programs continued throughout the year and has not abated in 2014.
Snowden currently resides in Russia.
As regards the new system, Obama expressed confidence in its ability to keep the country secure, while also reducing concerns of government intrusion with respect to citizen’s phone records.