Barack Obama held his first Q&A press conference in over three months yesterday. In this conference, Mr. Obama touted reforms to the Patriot Act and urged Congress to enact these reforms. During the hour long press conference, Mr. Obama stated the discourse ignited by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was “very passionate but not always fully informed debate.”
While Mr. Obama spoke, his Justice Department released a White Paper highlighting the federal government’s legal basis for domestic spying.
First reported by Politico, Mr. Obama held a meeting with tech executives the day before. These including the CEOs of industry heavyweights Apple and AT&T and a leading computer scientist from Google. Interestingly, though, this meeting was off the public agenda — ironic since Mr. Obama had proclaimed a more transparent process for future surveillance.
White House officials said they will work with Congress to amend Section 215 of the Patriot Act. These were merely suggestions to lawmakers and laregely a confidence building measure. The Gallup tracking poll shows he is at a 12-month low of 44% job approval. This has hindered what was planned to be a robust second term.