President Obama

NSA reform options leak as Obama weighs phone tracking

NSA reform options leak as Obama weighs phone tracking

The White House is weighing four possible options for revamping the NSA's phone-surveillance activities, security insiders say, including dumping such monitoring altogether or allowing the carriers themselves to operate it. The possible restructures follow President Obama's promise in January that the NSA would be reformed so as to present less of a threat to individual privacy, specifically focusing on one of the more reviled projects where millions of phone records are gathered by the agency and sifted for metadata.

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Obama’s Cybersecurity Framework revealed (but is it enough?)

Obama’s Cybersecurity Framework revealed (but is it enough?)

President Obama has launched the new Cybersecurity Framework, the Whitehouse's guide for infrastructure providers like gas, electric, and water, as well as banks and power plants to fend off digital attacks. The handiwork of a year's collaboration between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the private sector, the Framework consists of three components - the core, profiles, and tiers - designed to assess existing security levels, bring them (and employee understanding of them) up to a safer level, and then maintain those levels in future. However, there are already criticisms that the plan does not go far enough.

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Obama’s NSA surveillance limits enforced (but are they even listening?)

Obama’s NSA surveillance limits enforced (but are they even listening?)

The first stages of President Obama's overhaul of NSA data collection have gone into action, placing limits on how easy it is for security services to monitor individuals, though new insider claims suggest only a fraction of the surveillance believed to be underway was actually taking place. For a start, if the NSA requires phone records, it must now get Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) approval on each occasion, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper writes.

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Obama hosts real West Wing “Big Block of Cheese Day” across social

Obama hosts real West Wing “Big Block of Cheese Day” across social

Fans of the West Wing - and of getting greater insight into how the US government ticks - will be excited to hear that today is Big Block of Cheese Day, with the Obama Administration throwing open the virtual doors and answering public questions across social networks. Named after the fictitious day when West Wing's President Bartlet and staff took questions from special interest groups, however wacky, according to The White House the real thing will be playing out today across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram.

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DOJ statement: public interest outweighs security concerns

DOJ statement: public interest outweighs security concerns

In accordance with orders sent out earlier this month by the President of the United States on intelligence reforms, the US Department of Justice has begun "acting to allow" more transparency in a number of areas. The number of "national security orders and requests" sent to communications providers as well as the number of customer accounts that that are targeted will be part of this set of "more detailed disclosures."

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Obama talks NSA: EFF, Julian Assange, White House respond

Obama talks NSA: EFF, Julian Assange, White House respond

Just this morning, United States President Barack Obama spoke up at a bit of NSA news, letting it be known what his real NSA reform plan would be. As is often the case, some of the responses to the talk have appeared more telling than the talk itself. We're having a peek at what the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Julian Assange (of WikiLeaks), and the White House have done to follow up this set of announcements.

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Obama NSA reform plan revealed

Obama NSA reform plan revealed

President Obama has defended the NSA's spying actions, arguing that the continuing pace of technological advancement means surveillance is essential, though revealing a "series of concrete and substantial reforms" he believes will address public concerns. The proposals, already being picked apart by privacy advocates, include changing the controversial section 215 metadata program, and what Obama described as the "unprecedented" extending of rights around monitoring to non-US citizens outside of America.

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Obama hears panel: Stop NSA bulk phone data collection

Obama hears panel: Stop NSA bulk phone data collection

The White House has released a lengthy report written by a five-member panel recommending sweeping reforms of the NSA. Included among the 46 recommendations by the "Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies" is one to delete all bulk telephone metadata on Americans from the NSA's servers. The panel also suggested that the data should be allowed to be stored by the private telecoms for a capped length of time -- five years in most cases -- accessible by the NSA only through court order or other official third-party permission.

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Tech industry presents unified privacy front to White House

Tech industry presents unified privacy front to White House

A veritable pantheon of top-ranking emissaries from some of the largest and most powerful tech companies in the United States descended on the White House today to press the Obama administration to move aggressively on reforming the NSA's nearly universal surveillance of US citizens and the world. Their message was clear: Stop the spy agency from forcibly or stealthily seizing and storing bulk data about their customers. The message comes during an ongoing firestorm of public opposition to the agency's bulk data collection programs, ignited and continually stoked by the revelation of Edward Snowden's cache of an estimated 1.7 million stolen NSA documents detailing its ongoing quest for data omniscience.

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