Saturday, January 18, 2014

NSA policy changes and CSEC

On January 17th, President Obama announced a series of modifications to NSA policies designed to respond to public concerns about the eavesdropping practices of NSA and its allies. Some significant steps were announced, but Obama's proposals fell far short of the kinds of changes sought by privacy and civil liberties advocates.

Documents and coverage:

- President Obama's speech announcing the changes, 17 January 2014
- Presidential Policy Directive 28, 17 January 2014
- Analysis by the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Rating Obama’s NSA Reform Plan: EFF Scorecard Explained, 17 January 2014
- Coverage by New York Times: Mark Landler & Charle Savage, "Obama Outlines Calibrated Curbs on Phone Spying," New York Times, 17 January 2014; see also David Sanger & Claire Cain Miller, "In Keeping Grip on Data Pipeline, Obama Does Little to Reassure Industry," New York Times, 17 January 2014
- Coverage by Washington Post: Barton Gellman, "Obama’s restrictions on NSA surveillance rely on narrow definition of ‘spying’," Washington Post, 17 January 2014 (Gellman is the leading U.S.-based reporter working on the Snowden revelations)

Will the NSA changes have consequences for CSEC operations, and will CSEC make similar or other changes? Few signs so far:

- Leslie MacKinnon, "Obama's NSA reforms prompt little reaction from Canada's spy agency," CBC News, 17 January 2014
- Mitch Potter, "Analysis: Uncle Sam still wants your data," Toronto Star, 17 January 2014
- William Marsden, "Obama unveils reforms to U.S. cyber spying, but do they go far enough?," Postmedia News, 17 January 2014

See also Jim Bronskill, "NSA leaks prompted major Canadian eavesdropping review: declassified memo," Canadian Press, 17 January 2014

Also worth noting: "Stephen Harper must address online surveillance in Canada, says PEN Canada" (17 January 2014)


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