By Michael Bochenek, Director of Law and Policy at Amnesty International
US President Obama offered a tepid response on government surveillance at last Friday’s news conference in Washington.
Yes, he pledged his support for efforts to revamp the procedures of the secret court that authorizes the surveillance, and that initiative is important. He also released the government’s legal analysis for its bulk collection of every domestic phone call, and more generally committed to greater transparency in the National Security Agency (NSA)’s work.
But we need more than just “tightening the bolts,” as the President put it.
Privacy is a human right. It’s guaranteed by treaties the United States is party to and affirmed in international standards the country helped develop.