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.
|Swiss Federal Supreme Court rules that IP addresses are in fact personal information|
|T-Mobile Makes it Harder for Spooks to Snoop|
|"The Internet of Things creates the perfect conditions to bolster and expand the surveillance state."|
|“Tech companies are picking a big public fight with the NSA because it looks good.”|
|Spy Agencies Use 'Angry Birds' to Determine Users' Age, Location and Sexual Orientation|
|“What if energy generation was a consumer electronic you could order off Amazon?”|
|"There’s a galactic gold rush brewing."|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|Fast, Clean, Cost-Effective Metal 3D-Printing|
|"An unabashed love letter to the 1982 motion picture Blade Runner."|
|"A helpful guide created by an unqualified individual."|
|"You only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States."|
|"A real-time surveillance machine that has been developed for online advertising is rapidly expanding into other fields."|
|“Robots should be fitted with an 'ethical black box' to keep track of their decisions.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|