Government panel urges end to phone data spying

![](http://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_404h/2010-2019/Wires/Online/2014-01-23/AP/Images/NSA%20Surveillance.JPEG-0ddd5.jpg "photo credit to Carolyn Kaster, File/Associated Press")
A government panel found that the bulk-collection of phone records by the NSA was both illegal and ineffective and urged the President to end the program. The majority of the 5-person panel also advocated the destruction of the millions of records already in government possession. However, during last week’s speech in which he announced his plans to change the government’s surveillance activities, Obama said the bulk phone collection program would continue for the time being.
Edward Snowden commented that “it’s time to end ‘bulk collection,’ which is a euphemism for mass surveillance. There is simply no justification for continuing an unconstitutional policy with a 0% success rate.”
The following article from *[The Washington Post](http://www.washingtonpost.com/) *provides a great overview of the outcome reached by the panel and the President’s response:
 

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

The recommendations by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board go further than Obama is willing to accept and increase pressure on Congress to make changes.

The panel’s 234-page report included dissents from two of the board’s five members — former Bush administration national security lawyers who recommended that 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… Read more

Subscribe to the Stanford Review