Obama leaning towards extending privacy protections to noncitizens in NSA overhaul

The NSA-review panel recommended that the U.S. should extend to non-U.S. citizens the protections of the Privacy Act of 1974. The president is leaning toward accepting that proposal, the senior administration official said. Details of how the privacy protections would be applied were unclear.

Applying privacy protections to non-U.S. citizens would be a significant shift in U.S. posture that wasn’t proposed seriously until the uproar overseas in response to disclosures by Mr. Snowden, which suggested that the NSA had built a global surveillance operation that regularly scooped up communications of citizens of countries around the world, including friendly ones…

Another recommendation would create the post of advocate for privacy issues, who would argue before the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The court now approves surveillance requests based only on arguments from the government’s perspective.