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Obama announces NSA reforms

The President of the United States has announced a series of reforms to curb the invasive surveillance programs that the National Security Agency has come under fire for in recent months.

When Edward Snowden leaked information about the NSA's invasive PRISM surveillance program, much of the world was shocked and horrified about just how extensive the agency's capabilities really were. On top of this, it came out that the government body had been spying on many of the country's allies such as German Prime Minister Angela Merkel. This created massive amounts of distrust among U.S. and global citizens, along with businesses and foreign governments. Snowden was made an enemy of the state and skepticism grew about just how necessary these programs were to national security.

Obama speaks on leaks
Because of just how extensive this level of mistrust was across the U.S. and the rest of the world, the government sought to make reforms to the NSA program. President Barack Obama recently discussed how it would go about making these reforms in a speech to American people, according to Reuters.

However, the speech came just numerous media outlets reported that the NSA gathers about 200 million text messages a day and has software in tens of thousands of devices for surveillance operations.

The collection of metadata – one of the major components of these programs – is expected to come to an end. This aspect of the NSA surveillance efforts involved the collection lists of phone calls made by U.S. citizens and one of the biggest concerns among those who spoke out against the program.

Another major reform of the presidents proposal will be the creation of an outside panel composed to privacy leaders to help oversee the FISA Court, which is responsible for regulating these programs.

Is it enough? 
While many hope that these reforms can help, there are still some shortcomings in the reforms, according to the New York Times. The president defended the nation's intelligence bodies and even went so far as to day that there was no evidence of the body abusing its power.

The president also ignored the recommendation to require prior court approval for companies to demand user information from companies. The failure to acknowledge these shortcoming in surveillance policy could lead to further frustrations down the road for those who wish to maintain freedom and privacy on the Internet.

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