In a highly anticipated speech on Friday, President Barack Obama introduced a series of reforms that will place new limits and safeguards on U.S. intelligence gathering, including additional protections for foreign nationals overseas.
Press freedom advocates here charge that the administration of President Barack Obama is engaged in a war on “leaks” of secret information that is without parallel in this country.
After more than two years of fighting to prevent their release, the Department of Justice has released numerous documents related to domestic spying on U.S. citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the previously-secret court opinions that authorised the NSA’s controversial programmes to go forward.
Earlier this month, Reuters revealed that a special division within the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been using intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a mass database of telephone records to secretly identify targets for drug enforcement actions.
Civil liberties advocates are expressing doubt that promised reforms to a vast and controversial U.S. surveillance programme will allay concerns that the spying infringes on certain rights.
A wide variety of individuals and organisations have filed lawsuits challenging the National Security Agency (NSA) and other federal agencies and officials for conducting a massive, dragnet spying operation on U.S. citizens that was recently confirmed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
President Barack Obama has initiated a potential sea change in U.S government accountability, unveiling Thursday an executive order mandating all federal agencies to make openness and public accessibility the default methods for handling official data.