The person who triggered the furor over the National Security Agency's spying activities has given a tentative thumb's up to plans to change some of the agency's controversial methods.
In a statement released Wednesday through the American Civil Liberties Union, Edward Snowden called plans to rein in the National Security Agency's bulk record collection a "turning point." The former NSA consultant who leaked a series of documents detailing the NSA's activities also said that the latest efforts by the White House and Congress mark "the beginning of a new effort to reclaim our rights from the NSA and restore the public's seat at the table of government."
In January, President Obama revealed a proposal under which theand would require a court order to access it from a third-party.
USA Freedom Act that would by the NSA and other government agencies.of e-mail and phone records of US citizens. Last October, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) sponsored a bill called the
The White House reportedly plans to announce a proposal this week thatrather than putting them under the purview of the NSA. The agency would then need a court order to see specific records.
Snowden's full statement on the ACLU Web site appears as follows:
"I believed that if the NSA's unconstitutional mass surveillance of Americans was known, it would not survive the scrutiny of the courts, the Congress, and the people.
The very first open and adversarial court to ever judge these programs has now declared them 'Orwellian' and 'likely unconstitutional.' In the USA Freedom Act, Congress is considering historic, albeit incomplete reforms. And President Obama has now confirmed that these mass surveillance programs, kept secret from the public and defended out of reflex rather than reason, are in fact unnecessary and should be ended.
This is a turning point, and it marks the beginning of a new effort to reclaim our rights from the NSA and restore the public's seat at the table of government."