Civil Liberties Advocates not Impressed with Obama's Reforms

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

WASHINGTON (AP) - One of the leading civil liberties advocates in Congress isn't impressed with the changes outlined by President Barack Obama today in the government's surveillance programs.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul calls it "the same unconstitutional program with a new configuration." He says he'll continue to challenge the National Security Agency's spying programs.

Obama today called for an end to government control of phone data from hundreds of millions of Americans. And he wants intelligence agencies to get court permission before getting access to the records. Paul calls it "the same unconstitutional program with a new configuration."

Other civil libertarians agree that Obama didn't go far enough to protect privacy and prevent abuse. Steven W. Hawkins of Amnesty International USA says, "Shifting the storage of information does not address the fundamental problem" -- the collection of the data in the first place.

Many Democrats said Obama had made some important reforms, but didn't go far enough. Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York said Obama needs to "follow through" on his promises. Nadler said lawmakers will keep pushing for safeguards against "bulk surveillance of everyday Americans."

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