Whew! Obama Curtails Spying On Foreigners

Not so much on Americans

(AFP) In a long-awaited speech outlining changes to programs exposed by Edward Snowden, Obama also said he had halted National Security Agency (NSA) spy taps targeting friendly world leaders.

He also proposed new protections for foreigners caught in US data collection programs, which harvest hundreds of millions of pages of data on telephone calls, Internet use and text messages across the globe.

“Given the unique power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say: trust us, we won’t abuse the data we collect,” Obama said, in a speech at the US Justice Department.

Let’s go over to John Yoo

The first reform strikes me as ludicrous. Why should foreigners have any privacy rights against the United States government? Privacy is a constitutional right that a citizen has against his own government — I have no more a right of privacy against Saudi Arabia’s government than a Saudi Arabian should have against NSA surveillance. Under the Privacy Act, an American has the right to see the information held on him or her by the government — will Dr. Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaeda, have a right to request his government file now?

The suggestion shows that the Obama administration seems to worry as much about the rights of potential terrorist suspects as it does about the Americans who are their potential victims.

I have to disagree: Obama seems to worry way, way more about the rights of potential terrorist suspects than those of American citizens. In fact, the rights of American citizens was barely on the radar for these so called “reforms”.

DrewM notes

More from Obama’s speech:

Given the unique power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say: trust us, we won’t abuse the data we collect. For history has too many examples when that trust has been breached. Our system of government is built on the premise that our liberty cannot depend on the good intentions of those in power; it depends upon the law to constrain those in power.Unless you know, Congress won’t let him to something he really wants to do.

Chutzpah, thy name is Obama.

Maybe we should all declare ourselves foreigners, then Obama will stop spying on us. Really, what is the point of the NSA other than to spy on foreigners, foreign leaders, and nations? Even friendly ones. It wasn’t meant to spy on Americans.

The Washington Post provides a gobbledygook article about how Obama is supposedly shifting the way the information is stored and accessed. When all is said and done, they still have our information.

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