privacy wars

Obama Will Likely Request End to NSA Metadata Storage Today

One source says the President will overturn part of the Patriot Act.

Hey bud, cool Blackberry. (Photo: Getty)

Hey bud, cool Blackberry. (Photo: Getty)

President Barack Obama will suggest that maybe some other people should try and figure out how to tackle this pesky NSA matter today in a press conference at 11 a.m.

The President is going to call for an end to the National Security Agency’s ability to store Americans’ phone data, USA Today reports, and he’s going to ask Congress, the Justice Department and the intelligence community to decide who should be holding the records instead of the U.S. government.

Mr. Obama will ask Attorney General Eric Holder and the intelligence community to deliver a report on March 28 detailing how to handle the program in the long term, the source said, while the President consults with Congressional committees on their views.

The New York Times‘ source sounded a little more confident that the president would order specific changes, saying that Mr. Obama will actually order the overturn of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

“The president will say that he is ordering a transition that will end the Section 215 telephone metadata program as it currently exists and move to a program that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata,” the Times quotes their anonymous source as saying.

It’s all part of an effort to strike a balance between counterterrorism efforts and Americans’ right to privacy. And it’s great Mr. Obama is making the effort — but it’s worth noting that this probably wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for Edward Snowden’s massive NSA information leak.

The speech will also likely include a months-long review of NSA policies examining spying programs’ reach and potential for abuse, as well as a possible appointment of a public advocate to oversee the issuance of warrants.

In the meantime, the NSA will continue to collect 200,000 of your dumb text messages per day while Edward Snowden downs borscht in Russia while skyping with Julian Assange, we think.

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