One of the leading civil liberties supporters in the US Senate has said the Obama administration is considering scaling back its bulk collection of Americans' phone records.This is interesting, but I think it is something to take with a grain of salt. Wyden and members of his staff made it clear that does not claim to have any inside knowledge of the White House plans. However, he is a senator in a position to have more knowledge about the goings on with NSA and FISA than most people.
Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and a member of the Senate intelligence committee, told the New York Times that he believed the administration was increasingly concerned about the privacy implications raised by a surveillance effort it has performed for four and a half years, after National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed it to the Guardian.
"I have a feeling that the administration is getting concerned about the bulk phone records collection, and that they are thinking about whether to move administratively to stop it," Wyden told the Times.
It certainly seems plausible that Obama is feeling real political heat, both domestically and internationally, as a result of Snowden's revelations. The problem here is how would we be able to tell the difference between real reform and spin for public consumption. We don't have any comprehensive information about what is really going on. Therefore how could we actually tell if anything was changed?