It's the potential for abuse that concerns me.<quoted text>
From the article you posted, this caught my attention:
“the Government is prohibited ... from indiscriminately sifting through the data. The data-base may only be queried for intelligence purposes by NSA analysts where there is a reasonable, articulable suspicion ("RAS"), based on specific facts."
Wasn't Edward Snowden an employee of a "Private Contractor"?
If the data can be abused, it will be abused. It's human nature.
Whether it's at the hands of a civilian contractor or a government agency, there has been and there will be abuse.
Obama will only be president for a little over two more years, the agencies that have over stepped their legal authority and then lied to us about it will still be around and they will still be gathering personal information on millions of American citizens.
Can we guarantee that the next administration, or the one after that, won't use the information they've gathered against their political enemies?
Constitutional concerns aside, we're setting ourselves up for a nightmare scenario where free speech and a free press will become as "quaint" a notion as privacy seems to be today.