President Barack Obama is seriously considering some major changes to the National Security Agency (NSA) and its surveillance programs, the Wall Street Journal reports. The president will announce his decisions on Friday.
Obama may extend privacy protections to cover non-Americans, after reports that the NSA was spying on civilians of friendly countries provoked outrage across the world. The president will also probably appoint a privacy advocate to argue in front of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approves requests for surveillance.
He will also meet this week with members of the tech community that have been affected by the NSA's thirst for data. The NSA review panel convened by the President will also announce its findings this week.
The president is still debating what to do
The panel has a number of additional recommendations, including ending the practice of covert "national security letters," which the agency has been sending without a judge's permission. The president may accept some of these recommendations, but it appears that he is still debating exactly what to do. The shift could be a huge change, or it could turn out to be minor.
Either way, it's a direct result of the work of Edward Snowden, the contractor who leaked documents about the NSA's activities to journalists. Snowden said he leaked the documents because he wanted the public to debate the issue openly. It seems he's achieved his goal.