Nadia Kayyali writes:
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) exists to ensure that national security does not trump privacy and civil liberties, and it has been especially busy since the publication of the first Snowden leak. Congress and the President asked the Board to review the use of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, as well as the operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In 2014, PCLOB published two reports addressing these issues. And last week, the Board published a “Recommendations Assessment Report [pdf].”
Section 215 Recommendations
The most striking piece of the report is also the first:
Recommendation 1: End the NSA’s Bulk Telephone Records Program
Status: Not implemented (implementing legislation proposed)
The NSA uses Section 215 of the Patriot Act to justify its bulk telephone records collection program. But as we have notedrepeatedly, there’s no evidence that the Section 215 program is necessary for stopping terrorism—something PCLOB, the President’s Review Group, and even the administration itself have all admitted. On the other hand, there’s plenty of evidence of how the program invades innocent peoples’ privacy. And PCLOB’s recommendation is very simple here: the program should end.
Read more on EFF.