Analytics/Big Data

Obama Weighs In on NSA Data Collection

President Obama said Friday that he wants to end the NSA's bulk collection of the phone records of Americans.

"I believe we need a new approach," the president said in a wide-ranging speech Friday on national intelligence, after the revelations of mass meta-data collection by the National Security Agency.

"I am therefore ordering a transition that will end the Section 215 bulk meta-data program as it currently exists, and establish a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk meta-data," the president added.

Questions will now center around what rules going forward govern the government's access to this data from the phone companies. What do you think, readers: Will anything actually change with Obama weighing in?

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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KBode 1/17/2014 | 6:26:17 PM
Re: Knee-jerk response "If they make the phone companies store the records versus the NSA, what's the big difference?"

Zero to little, really. It has already been revealed that the line between telco and intelligence has grown smaller and smaller by the day. Whether that's the live fiber taps AT&T allows at their head ends (revealed by Mark Klein), or their increasingly cooperative volunteering in terms of how to bypass surveillance and privacy law:


Carol Wilson 1/17/2014 | 6:21:32 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data I like the idea of a general digital privacy policy so at least consumers know when they have - and when they don't have - an expectation of privacy. 

This week, I reserved a digital version of a new book on my public library's website and an hour later, an ad for that book showed up on my Facebook page. 

Of course it could have been sheer concidence but I doubt it. 
DanJones 1/17/2014 | 5:34:52 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data Probably because the consquences of a govt mistake in reading and analyzing the collected data could potentially be more severe than a private company's mistake.

I agree its creepy though.

Time to think a digital bill of rights for both public and private data usage?
mendyk 1/17/2014 | 5:15:51 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data Or any other commercial enterprise diving into the big-data pool. I agree -- people should be more creeped out by private-sector monitoring than by Big Brother.
Phil_Britt 1/17/2014 | 5:06:52 PM
Re: Big (Brother) Data Though I'm concerned about big brother government, I don't know that it has any more information on the general public that big brother Google.
DanJones 1/17/2014 | 4:56:55 PM
Big (Brother) Data It's possible that there will be more steps that the NSA would have to go through to get authorized to get the data. I listened to the speech and some analysis and it still isn't a 100% clear to me.

Apparently lawmakers get their hands on this stuff in March anyway, so it could be all change (or not) soon anyway. 
Carol Wilson 1/17/2014 | 4:46:15 PM
Knee-jerk response I haven't read the entire speech - or listened to it - but it sure seems like the folks most angered by the NSA's privacy invasion have been very quick to say Obama isn't changing the substance of the snooping, just trying to make it look like he is. 

If they make the phone companies store the records versus the NSA, what's the big difference?
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