According to the New York Times, an independent federal privacy watchdog has determined that the NSA's "program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only 'minimal' benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down."
The findings are laid out in a 238-page report, scheduled for release by Thursday and obtained by The New York Times, that represent the first major public statement by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which Congress made an independent agency in 2007 and only recently became fully operational.
The report is likely to inject a significant new voice into the debate over surveillance, underscoring that the issue was not settled by a high-profile speech President Obama gave last week. Mr. Obama consulted with the board, along with a separate review group that last month delivered its own report about surveillance policies. But while he said in his speech that he was tightening access to the data and declared his intention to find a way to end government collection of the bulk records, he said the programs capabilities should be preserved.
Further reading: Snowden Calls Russian-Spy Story Absurd in Exclusive Interview.
|“Tech companies are picking a big public fight with the NSA because it looks good.”|
|UK Government Orders 'The Guardian' to Destroy Hard Drives Containing #Snowden Revelations|
|"Walk by a policeman, and she will know your name, address, criminal record, and with whom you routinely are seen."|
|Nineteen Organizations, Including Gun Groups, Join the EFF to Sue NSA Over Illegal Surveillance|
|Internet-Enabled Toys Ask Too Many Questions|
|“Forget reading the book of life—we’re now learning how to write it.”|
|"Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December."|
|“The era of climate wars has begun.”|
|“Once artificial-intelligence software is good enough to drive a car, it will be good enough to do a lot of other things too.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Boardwalk Empire: Time Lapse Video|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|The Hard Sell of Low Tactics|
|Facebook, Twitter Users Could Face Insurance Hikes|
|“We need to make algorithms transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them.”|
|“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.”|