On Friday in an address to the nation and the world, President Barack Obama announced a major overhaul of the National Security Agency's (NSA) surveillance practices. The president's announcement comes in response to a global debate that was sett off by the disclosures of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
"It is hard to overstate the transformation America’s intelligence community had to go through after 9/11," the president said during his remarks at the Justice Department. "And yet, in our rush to respond to very real and novel threats, the risks of government overreach—the possibility that we lose some of our core liberties in pursuit of security—became more pronounced."
The president said that in order for the nation's intelligence community to be effective over the long haul, the trust of the American people must be maintained. In order to maintain that trust, the president said he would end the vast collection of phone data as it exists today.
"I believe critics are right to point out that without proper safeguards, this type of program could be used to yield more information about our private lives, and open the door to more intrusive, bulk collection programs," said the president. "Given the unique power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say: Trust us, we won’t abuse the data we collect. For history has too many examples when that trust has been breached. Our system of government is built on the premise that our liberty cannot depend on the good intentions of those in power; it depends upon the law to constrain those in power."
The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent, Todd Zwillich breaks it down with further NSA analysis from Pulitzer Prize winning author Lawrence Wright.
Click here to read the White House's policy directive. Listen to the president's full speech below.