U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) doesn’t believe President Obama’s proposed reforms to the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs will solve any of its problems. Obama said he’s changing how intelligence officials can access phone records from Americans, and having that data stored by a third party, not the government. Kirk says the details of how to balance national security and personal privacy concerns have been left up to legislators to decide.
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“When I looked at it, I expected the president to be maybe a bit more specific on how he would protect our Fourth Amendment rights in the NSA,” Kirk said. “He largely kicked the can down the road to the Congress.” Kirk believes there is a way for intelligence officials to do their job while not violating the Constitution. While lawmakers debate those reforms, Obama said that for now, the NSA would need court approval to access the trillions of phone records it had collected since 2006.