Obama Calls for Curbed NSA Powers, but Keeps Data in Hands of Government

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Coming on the heels of the Edward Snowden leaks, and a 300-page set of recommendations from a panel of presidential advisers, President Obama announced Friday a set of recommendations to change the way the NSA collects and stores data. Obama announced he is not ready to move data out of government hands, but is asking Congress to determine whether the so-called "metadata" should be stored by private companies, a third party, or remain with the NSA.

Obama announced that the government will no longer collect data more than two steps, or "hops," away from the target. In other words, the government cannot gather data on someone who called someone who called someone who called a suspect.

The president also asked that an outside panel have oversight over the private FISA court, and established a process for analysts to receive approval from the court that there is a "reasonable articulable suspicion" that an American's phone number is linked to terrorism, before their data can be queried. Obama also ended the practice of spying on foreign leaders without a specific national security purpose. But the White House has not published a list of which countries fall under that criteria. 

On the Brian Lehrer Show, Karen GreenbergDirector of the Center on National Security at Fordham, offers analysis -- audio above.