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Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board Report on NSA Telephone Records Program: Illegal, Ineffective, Should End

In Archive, NSA, Patriot Act, Surveillance on January 23, 2014 at 7:22 PM

01/23/2014

An independent executive branch board has concluded that the National Security Agency’s long-running program to collect billions of Americans’ phone records is illegal and should end.

In a strongly worded report issued Thursday, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) said that the statute upon which the program was based, Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, “does not provide an adequate basis to support this program.”

The board’s conclusion goes further than President Obama, who said in a speech Friday that he thought the NSA’s database of records should be moved out of government hands but did not call for an outright halt to the program. The board had shared its conclusions with Obama in the days leading up to his speech.

The panel also concluded that the program raises serious threats to civil liberties, has shown limited value in countering terrorism and is not sustainable from a policy perspective.

The board is the third official government entity in recent months to examine the NSA’s metadata program and question its utility in fighting terrorism. In December, a federal judge found that the metadata program was likely unconstitutional and wrote that he had ”serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program.” Shortly thereafter, a White House appointed surveillance policy review board found that the program was “not essential” to preventing attacks.

  1. […] @auerfeld: #AskSnowden do you think it’s a shame that #Obama gave his #NSA speech before his Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board reported? […]

  2. […] last June’s initial revelations about NSA surveillance. In December, the PCLOB released a meticulous and devastating report about the government’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records under Section 215 of the […]

  3. […] own panels rejected the NSA’s claim that it was necessary in stopping terrorism, while another explicitly found the program illegal. And now the President himself depicts himself as trying to end it. Whatever test exists for […]

  4. […] whether there was any mass surveillance in Russia. The 30-year-old American mentioned that “two separate White House investigations, as well as a [US] federal court, all concluded that these programs are […]

  5. […] for policy reforms. Previously, on January 23, 2014, the Board released a separate unclassified report regarding operation of the telephone records program under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, as […]

  6. […] have already ruled on the program, with one calling it “almost Orwellian.” In their report on the program, the Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) called it illegal and ineffective, […]

  7. […] of data occurs and it’s done under Executive Order 12333– not under FISA 702 or the Patriot Act or any of that. It’s all done under one — Executive Order […]

  8. […] Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board Report on NSA Telephone Records Program: Illegal, Inef… […]

  9. […] the sky falling. The President of the United States of America, said that he appointed independent review boards to take a look at these programs of mass surveillance … and the conclusion … […]

  10. […] of U.S. citizens regardless of whether they were suspected of a crime. It was a model for the massive phone surveillance system the NSA launched to identify terrorists after the Sept. 11 attacks. That dragnet drew sharp criticism that the […]

  11. […] Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board Report on NSA Telephone Records Program: Illegal, Inef… […]

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