US President Barack Obama has not gone far enough in reforming the National Security Agency’s widespread spying activities, despite the public pressure to limit the agency, an American political commentator says.
Pressure on the US government to limit the scope of NSA’s surveillance programs is “having an impact” on government policy, “but it’s not the sweeping reforms that so many people have desired here in this country,” said Norman Stockwell.
The Obama administration has only said that it will end the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, and those records would stay in the hands of phone companies, Stockwell told Press.
On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court declined to take up a challenge to the NSA’s telephone data surveillance program, rejecting a call to put the dispute on an unusual fast track.
The justices turned away a petition by Larry Klayman, a legal activist who persuaded a federal trial judge in December to rule the spying program probably violates constitutional privacy rights.
Although the Obama administration is asking a federal appeals court in Washington to reverse that ruling, Klayman argued that the issue was so urgent that the Supreme Court needed to intervene without waiting for the appellate court.
Back in December, US District Judge Richard Leon said the government’s once-secret collection of domestic phone records is probably unconstitutional and violates privacy rights.
The NSA’s spying programs were exposed last year by former agency’s contractor Edward Snowden, who is currently residing in Russia under temporary asylum.