- Posted January 17, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Did Prez Go Too Far Or Not Far Enough?
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
President Barack Obama announced today reforms to the National Security Agency's collection of metadata which affects every American as well as foreign leaders and global intelligence gathering.
The debate now is: Did the President go too far with the changes or whether in the interest of privacy concerns he did not go far enough?
For those who see Edward Snowden as a whistleblower, the reforms are welcome. For those who see Snowden as a traitor, the President capitulated and has put us in jeopardy.
The other big debate within our society is: How much privacy are we willing to give up in order to remain secure while maintaining our freedoms?
I wonder why, with all the capabilities we have learned that the NSA has at its disposal along with those of Cyber Command, was the attack, by reportedly the Russian mob, on retail computer systems not detected and thwarted?
Wasn't the Target and other retail stores hacking incident an attack on our nation which the NSA gathering capability and the mission of Cyber Command is suppose to detect and prevent?
While I do believe the President is trying to find a happy medium and thread the needle, I am not sure with his announcements today if he went too far or not far enough in protecting our freedoms while keeping us safe.
Before announcing his reforms, the President mounted a robust defense of the intelligence gathering programs and those within the intelligence community performing gathering capabilities. Some will say the President was too defensive of the programs which are alleged to have delved too far into Americans' privacy. Others will say the President did not stand firm enough in defending the intelligence community.
From the Cornfield, I am not sure if the President did find the right balance today.
What I do know, based on the Administration's record on transparency, that I am skeptical of the President's vow to be more transparent about what the intelligence community is doing.
A final question that all of us must ask ourselves in light of the President's announcement today and the revelations about the intelligence gathering programs is: Are we safer today than we were a few years ago and are our freedoms as strong as those liberties once were?
We must each answer these questions for ourselves.