Cyber Round Up: Reactions to NSA Reform Proposal

As promised, here is a mini round up detailing the public’s response, generally, to President Obama’s NSA reform proposal:

  • The Hill reports that Obama’s proposal is “sure to come under fire as it heads to Congress.”  The report notes several possible reasons.  Here are a few:

(1) Although lawmakers have generally expressed support for the idea of ending collection and storage of metadata, there is disagreement over the proper manner in which government agents should be permitted to search for records.

(2) Some have expressed concern over the proposal’s failure to address other “symptom[s] of the NSA’s overreach.”  As Kevin Bankston, policy director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute reportedly put it, “Any proposal to address the problem of bulk data is fatally incomplete if it doesn’t prohibit bulk collection of any kind of record under any of the NSA’s different legal authorities.”

(3) “A big factor affecting the outcome of the president’s proposal is who gets authority.”  This is because, as the article explains, the Judiciary Committee would traditionally have jurisdiction over matters concerning foreign intelligence.  But, the House Intelligence Committee “was given primary authority over its leaders’ bill[.]”

This last point brings me to the next article I want to highlight.

  • Politico reports that Bob Goodlatte (R-Va), House Judiciary Committee Chairman, declared his intent to “fight any effort to move [NSA] surveillance reform legislation to the House floor without going through his panel.”  Goodlatte further indicated that, although input from the House Intelligence Committee is welcomed, the Judiciary Committee should be the central venue in charge.
  • In a separate article, Politico identifies an additional hurdle—“no major force pushing for the changes.”  As the report explains, the NSA’s Section 215 authority is set to expire in June of next year; however, “rank-and-file lawmakers . . . caution that there’s no serious pressure coming from home to support the kinds of changes Obama wants.”
  • Alex Jones’ Info Wars has also come out and criticized private companies for failing to take a more active approach in order to force legislation on this issue.  Trevor Timm of the London Guardian stated, Facebook and others are “holding fire” when it comes to pushing reform on the hill.  But, “[t]he keepers of the everyday [I]nternet seem to care more about PR than helping their users.  The truth is, if the major tech companies really wanted to force meaningful surveillance reform, they could do so tomorrow.”
  • The Brennan Center’s Elizabeth Goitein has also identified what some believe is a hole in the President’s proposal, MSNBC reports.  “The problem is there are no meaningful limits on what [the government] can do with [the] data, the only limits are on what they have to do to get the data,” Goitein reportedly said.
Please follow and like us:


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Untitled Document
Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


Follow by Email