On January 17, President Obama will make his proposals for changes to the NSA’s surveillance programs based on the findings of a commission put together by the president to review these programs in the wake of the revelations that the agency had been amassing data on Americans’ phone records.
Most expect that among other changes, the president will propose to hand over collection of the data to a third party (probably the phone companies), instead of having the NSA collect and store it.
In response, the NSA has been making a public push to garner support for the program. This campaign included a full-length interview on National Public Radio (NPR) with the NSA’s deputy director John C. Inglis.
During the interview, Inglis, who is the NSA’s highest ranking civilian officer, admitted that throughout its course, only one plot may have been foiled by the NSA’s phone surveillance.
In fact, the NSA commission put together by Obama didn’t even endorse that example as legitimate, saying it was hard to find any cases of the domestic phone surveillance program foiling a plot.
Inglis also conceded that the figure of 54 foiled plots given by the NSA’s Director, General Keith Alexander, was referring to plots foiled by Prism, another program which mines mainly internet data and is totally separate from the NSA’s phone metadata collection.
This confidential document showing the details of the Prism program was obtained by the Washington Post during the Edward Snowden leaks (click to enlarge).
Read the full story from The Guardian here.
Read or listen to the full interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep and NSA Deputy Director John C. Inglis here.