President Barack Obama is expected to lay out major reforms in a highly-anticipated speech Friday regarding the National Security Agency and America's surveillance programs.
Since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden teamed up with journalist Glenn Greenwald last June, seldom has a week gone by without a new story on the NSA's once-secret programs. This week, reports showed that NSA put software on 100,000 computers internationally for surveillance purposes.
Ahead of Obama's Justice Department address, we hear three perspectives on what people want to hear him propose.
"If he punts the ball 16 blocks, all hell's liable to break loose on the Hill," said former NSA Director Michael Hayden. "There will be people who will be voting against it because Obama's reform plan doesn't go far enough and people voting against it because it doesn't defend us enough and other people voting against it because it outsources espionage." (Politico)
"In the years leading up to and following 9/11, the FISA court was subject to the exact opposite criticism that it's receiving today," Professor Carrie Cordero said. "It was criticized of being too cautious, too unwilling to be aggressive under the law to protect matters of national security." (UPI)
In each case, officials who believed they had special insight into the value of secret intelligence programs decided we needed to be shielded, for our own good, from any messy facts that might call those programs into question. Perhaps the real value of these leaks, then, is not just bringing those facts to light -- but making clear how thoroughly the intelligence community's appointed watchdogs have become its most devoted lap dogs. (Cato Institute)