Prediction: The Government Will Put The NSA In Check

Up until a few months ago, President Obama probably didn’t worry much about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance program. After all, Congress had approved it, courts oversaw it, and a majority of Americans continued to support it — even after the leaks were reported.
But, now that every major branch of government is calling for reform, including the President’s own special advisory group, I predict far more transparency and a partial end to mass spying is coming.
To be sure, the future of the NSA is mostly in the president’s hands: it’s controlled by the executive branch and Obama wields veto power over any pending legislation. But looking at the president’s history with government programs and his own unique political philosophy, we can bet that the big overarching change is that moneyball is coming to the NSA.
In other words they’ll need to prove that all their programs are worth the risks, which implies more transparency, oversight, and limited access to data.
Much More Transparency On Programs And Targets: Obama is, despite everything, a government transparency pioneer. His first major initiative, the $787 billion economic stimulus package, designed an entirely new way to track federal spending online. Before that, one of his first major executive orders was the creation of the Chief Technology Officer, who opens government data warehouses to citizens.
In a cringe-worthy folksy analogy, Obama said that the American people deserve to verify the NSA programs, similar to the way he used to invite his wife into the kitchen to verify that, he, in fact, washed the dishes (really). To that end, he’ll likely release the gag order on tech companies who wish to post the number of users being spied on through their platforms.
For programs that cannot be made public, members of Congress will quit getting stonewalled by the NSA, which has made it quite inconvenient for them to attend briefings.