By Renee Martin
After the September 11th terrorists attack under the presidency of George Bush, a program was set in place called the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act that monitored phone calls in hopes to catch terrorists. The program expired though and there was controversy of whether or not it would be reimplemented. President Barack Obama has now reauthorized the program with Congress and has made certain changes that he says will protect privacy. The compromise bill was signed by Obama the day after the program expired.
The program is referred to as the USA Freedom Act and the change is that instead of the National Security Agency keeping and collecting the phone calls, the telephone companies are the ones responsible to keep track and monitor phone calls from their customers.The phone calls are to be kept and made available for monitoring by government officials. The reason that Congress and Obama passed these changes instead of abandoning the program is because of the fear that the terrorist organizations are getting more and more sophisticated and aggressive. Some people still think that the program should be illegal because the original program was not authorized by federal law. Other people though are appreciative of the fact that the phone records will be reset.
“They help us prevent terrorist attacks,” Obama said. “And the modest encroachments on the privacy that are involved in getting phone numbers or duration without a name attached and not looking at content, it was worth us doing.”