Oversight panel: NSA program is illegal, ineffective

A government review panel warned Thursday that the National Security Agency’s daily collection of Americans’ phone records is illegal and recommended President Barack Obama abandon the program and destroy the hundreds of millions of phone records it has already collected.
Associated Press
Jan 24, 2014


The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s 234-page report included dissents from two of the board’s five members — former Bush administration national security lawyers who recommended the government keep collecting the phone records. The board described key parts of its report to Obama this month before he announced his plans last week to change the government’s surveillance activities.

In that speech, Obama said the bulk phone collection program would continue for the time being. He directed the Justice Department and intelligence officials to find ways to end the government’s control over the phone data. He’s also insisting on close supervision by a secretive federal intelligence court and reducing the breadth of phone records the NSA can investigate.