According to the Wall Street Journal, President Obama is considering four alternatives to the NSA surveillance program, one of which would completely get rid of it.
Obama had requested that various proposals be submitted prior to a March 28 deadline and since all of these have, Obama will be deciding which (if any) plan is best for the US’ future and particularly, its reputation.
All of the information is being provided to the Wall Street Journal by people “close to the matter.”
The proposals include the following:
- Place phone data collection under the control of telecommunications companies and require the NSA to request access to the data when necessary.
- Put the control over the program in the hands of a federal agency.
- Put the control over the program in the hands of a non-federal and non-telecommunications organization.
- Get rid of the entire phone metadata collection program.
Out of all the proposals that are currently being considered by the Obama Administration, the fourth option, to get rid of collection altogether, is the least likely. Even among the other options, officials and other individuals are having a hard time agreeing who should be in charge of holding onto the data, according to the Wall Street Journal.
For people that are not fans of the NSA, the fourth option is surely the most appealing and even among some members of the US Government, it may be able to garner some support. In the end however, it is likely that Obama will stay clear of ordering that the entire program be shut down.
It is important to remember that these proposals are specifically dealing with the NSA’s phone metadata collection program, but there are many other ways that the NSA collects data on US citizens and foreigners.
The one major benefit of the first three proposals is that the NSA will no longer be able to collect and search its own data. Rather, another agency or organization would be able to safeguard the information that is being collected.
Summary: Four proposals have been provided to President Obama outlining various ways that an alternative to the NSA’s phone metadata collection program could be created.
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