White House assessing four alternative proposals on NSA data collection reformBy Justin Kahn 9 comments
After reports that parts of President Obama's NSA crack-down were put in motion through a secret court ruling, a new report from The Wall Street Journal says that four proposals on how to reform the NSA's mass phone data dragnet operations have been presented to the White House from various outside intelligence agencies. The proposals come ahead of a late March deadline put forth when Obama initially announced plans for NSA reform.
The proposals are centered around who the collected data will be controlled by as well as when and how the NSA and other agencies can access it. The first proposal would see major US telecommunications companies take over the massive database. Under this proposal the NSA would be required to request data from the telecom companies, at which point it would be given only what it requires as opposed to being given free reigns over the data.
The second proposal would see a different government agency like the FBI take over the database, likely not something that's going to convince the public very much reform has taken place. The third option will see a third party that isn't a telecom company or a federal agency take over the phone records.
The fourth option presented could be the most unlikely. It would see the data collection program wiped out completely, something the Obama administration said would require more time and work back in January.
The WSJ reports that none of the four options appear to be garnering much support. While certain members of the intelligence community have seemingly backed the idea of allowing something like the FBI to take control, others have suggested the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would be a better fit. The phone companies have apparently been left in the dark regarding the option that involves them, WSJ reports that they have not even been directly informed of the proposal. While most seem to feel the third option appears as though it could be the best of the bunch, considering the unlikely hood of nixing the program completely, some have suggested it would come with very little change to the existing situation.