The President of the United States Barack Obama recently took to his trusty podium to announce his plan to rein in some of the powers that the NSA has enjoyed without oversight for far too long.
An article posted by the New York Times has confirmed that the President has planned to introduce a bill to Congress that would put an end to the bulk collection of data through programs like BLUEHILL and MUSCULAR. Both operations sought to tap the lines of internet communications as well as phone conversations, and pretty much anything other surveillance scraps left in between.
While the move is certainly a saunter down the right path, it also could be nothing more than a spat of political theater on Obama’s part in an endless torrent of bad news about the agency.
Not only will Congress have to pass the bill, they’ll also be tasked with the responsibility of creating an entirely new watchdog organization designed to enforce the policy. For a House that’s been notoriously difficult and slow-moving for the majority of Obama’s presidency, an effort as ambitious as this seems practically impossible.
The action would represent a multi-pronged approach to addressing the many different issues that have sprouted up since the leaks first started. This includes a requirement for individual court orders to be filed for every information request the NSA wants to make, and a detailed system of tracking and managing each phone tap recorded by the agency and the phone company on an independent basis.
Other proposed modifications to the current plan include whittling down the time records can be held in storage from five years to 18 months, and only allowing the scooping of data on calls that were made twice removed from the original suspect.