A Scorecard for Obama's Surveillance Reform Announcement

Written by the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Cindy Cohn and Rainey Reitman

Earlier today, President Obama announced a series of reforms to address abuses by the National Security Agency. We were heartened to see Obama recognized that the NSA has gone too far in trampling the privacy rights of people worldwide. In his speech, the President ensured that National Security Letters would not come with perpetual gag orders, brought new levels of transparency and fairness to the FISA court, and ended bulk collection of telephone records by the NSA. However, there is still much more to be done.

We’ve put together a scorecard showing how Obama’s announcements stack up against 12 common sense fixes that should be a minimum for reforming NSA surveillance. Each necessary reform was worth 1 point, and we were willing to award partial credit for steps in the right direction. On that scale, President Obama racked up 3.5 points out of a possible 12.

For further reform, we need to convince Congress to pass meaningful reform. Sign up alongside over 2,000 other websites and tens of thousands of people for a massive online protest against mass surveillance on February 11th.

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Our scorecard explained:

Now we need Congress to act. Join us on February 11th for a massive online protest against mass surveillance.