Obama’s proposed changes to the way NSA collects data are approved by Secret Court


The secret FISC court has approved the changes that President Obama wants to make to the NSA’s data collection abilities.

While it will take time to implement these changes, the two main changes include the NSA now having to consult with a court and gain permission before pilfering through the database it has collected, and the number of “hops” or “degrees of separation” between the NSA and the target they are pursuing has been dropped from 3 to 2.

“I am glad to see that the administration is moving forward to impose important safeguards on its bulk collection of Americans’ phone records,” Patrick Leahy, who is the Chairman for the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. “But we must do more than just reform the government’s bulk phone records collection program; we should shut it down.”

Since it was a secret court, the details haven’t been released, but the court has issued an order to the government, in which they say that it has to make a decision on whether or not the details will be released to the public.

[via National Journal, The Verge, image via Bananna’s flickr]

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  • Peter

    How nice! A vehmic court approves decisions of the PotUS :O

  • Making the NSA accountable to judiciary oversight is a huge step in the right direction. It brings them back inline with the intentions in the Bill of Rights. I don’t agree with limiting them further by removing the ability at all though. Limiting the ability to abuse that power is enough IMO.

  • Ashraf

    [@Seamus McSeamus] I was thinking the same thing the other day. Isn’t the a major point of democracy accountability to the people? How can you be accountable if you have a secret court? I suppose that was the compromise the government had to come up with to balance national security issues and checks and balances over federal agencies.

  • Seamus McSeamus

    There is something fundamentally wrong with this country having a secret court.