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President Obama Announces Changes to NSA
Written by Jared Pelletier
Last updated on January 17, 2014 @ 7:25PM
Created on January 17, 2014 @ 6:30PM

The National Security Agency's public surveillance program has been under a lot of criticism ever since information about data collection was leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden. On Friday, President Barack Obama vowed to overhaul how the program operates.

The President promised changes with the way the NSA collects phone data on people. He also talked about putting in place what he called an unprecedented set of privacy safeguards for people who live abroad.

The President's announcement is considered a win for privacy advocates all over the globe. Some of the biggest changes expected will include a decrease in the amount of phone data collected, and the NSA will have to go through a judge before gaining access to personal information. In addition there may also be limits on how long the government can keep personal information in order to make sure it's only used when necessary.

Many political experts are saying it's unclear just how significant the changes will be.

Dr. Neil Berch is a political science professor at WVU. He said, "President Obama was somewhat vague in describing just what was going to be done. There's a wide range of possibilities with almost all of the measures he announced."

Many people who aren't happy with what the NSA has been doing, and others who haven't really been affected by it, are saying they're glad the government is stepping up to protect citizen's privacy rights.

"I'm glad to see it. It's nice to know that they're actually fighting to protect our privacy instead of exploiting it," said Delaware resident Eric Gill.

New York resident Shane Cefaleu said, "It's not going to prevent them from finding people that badly. If they want to find somebody they're going to find somebody."

Many other people claim the changes will only make it harder for the NSA to track down terror suspects.


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