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NSA Review Panel Urges Major Oversight, Some Restrictions

SURVEILLANCE—U.S.

December 19, 2013

A review panel of outside intelligence and legal experts on Wednesday released its report to President Barack Obama recommending increased oversight and some restrictions on the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs. Among the 46 recommendations, the panel urged Obama to restructure the NSA’s metadata collection program by having telecommunications companies or a private consortium hold the data and only share it after the agency provides an approved court order “for queries and data mining.” The panel also recommended the agency halt its practice of creating “backdoors” into hardware and software as a secret way to manipulate devices and online systems. The New York Times reports Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said, “This has been a big week for the cause of intelligence reform,” and the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Greg Nojeim called the report “remarkably strong.” Obama reportedly said he was “open to many” of the recommendations. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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