President Obama has finally recognized that Americans stand opposed to dragnet surveillance and the blatant abuse of power by the NSA. But changing bits and pieces of the NSA’s massive surveillance machine won’t be enough to protect our privacy.
Right now, there is good, bipartisan legislation—the USA FREEDOM Act— pending in the House and Senate that would stop the worst of the NSA’s domestic spying excesses. And there’s also a competing bill that is about to come up for vote that would codify what the NSA is doing and allow them to continue spying on Americans for years to come.
Act now to back legislation that repeals the surveillance state sections of the Patriot Act and FISA.
President Obama just gave a landmark speech about NSA surveillance and the future of digital privacy. As we noted in our reaction to it (which you can read here), the president introduced a number of welcome, but incremental, reforms to NSA surveillance, while leaving in place — at least for now — the bulk collection of Americans’ sensitive data.
My thoughts – While I’m glad that the president took another opportunity to address the public’s concerns with NSA data collection and spying, I was extremely disappointed that he fell just short of promising to overhaul the system. He instead said a lot of things that sounded great, but didn’t promise anything substantial. He only promised bits of change here and there, some tinkering around the edges, but nothing satisfying. His only other assurance was that he’ll be passing off most of the responsibility for reform to others, including Congress. Congress, even when under pressure of the entire government shutting down, couldn’t act soon enough or effectively! Why on earth would Pres. Obama trust them with this?
That’s what makes this petition crucial- this is our way of demanding that the president take more firm and decisive action NOW!