Obama Announces NSA Changes: How the Government Will Spy on You Now

uncle sam phone boothWorried about the government holding on to your phone data and checking out all those risqué photos you texted your husband while he was away on his business trip last month? Well good news! This morning, President Obama announced new limits on the NSA's surveillance program. In fact, they're calling it a "major overhaul" of how the NSA handles phone "metadata" -- that's what they're calling those naked photos you sent, er, and all the other phone data collected by the government. Here's everything you need to know about these changes and how they'll affect your marriage. I mean, your life.

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OK, so the NSA will still access some phone metadata. That hasn't changed. Oh come on! It's for our own protection. You want to prevent another major terrorist event in the U.S. or what?

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But! The NSA will no longer store metadata records like a hoarder with a garage full of back issues of Reader's Digest, family vacation VHS tapes, cotton balls, exercise equipment, and broken toys.

hoarders

There will be greater transparency in how the NSA collects our text messages and whatnot.

tell me

The NSA will have to go before a judge before it can go digging through phone records. So they won't just be able to rummage through records willy-nilly. They have to ask first. And they have to have a good reason to look ... presumably.

pretty please?

The government can no longer request data beyond two people from a terrorist target.

o rlly

And the Obama administration will ask Congress to help set more boundaries around metadata collection.

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Obama proposed new privacy protections for foreigners whose data is collected by NSA and spying less on foreign leaders. Because, you know, it's just so awkward when they find out we're doing that.

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Obama is proposing a new independent to represent our privacy interests before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Obama also wants to appoint someone to make sure reforms to the NSA's surveillance program actually happen.

yay

What do you think about these NSA surveillance reforms?

 

Image via JeffSchuler/Flickr

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