ights groups are applauding the move. But they say it’s virtually a meaningless gesture in its current form. As chief executive, Obama has the power to reform the NSA on his own with the stroke of a pen. By not putting this initiative into an executive order, he punted to Congress on an issue that affects the civil liberties of most anybody who picks up a phone. Every day Congress waits on the issue is another day Americans' calling records are being collected by the government without suspicion that any crime was committed.
“He does not need congressional approval for this,” said Mark Jaycox, an Electronic Frontier Foundation legislative analyst.