ACLU Comment on President’s NSA Review Group Report

December 18, 2013 4:36 pm

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WASHINGTON – The White House today publicly released the report by the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. Of the 46 recommendations offered, the review group advises Congress to end the National Security Agency’s program whereby all Americans’ call records are collected by the spy agency on a daily, ongoing basis from the phone companies.

“We welcome this report, which advocates for many of the ACLU’s positions, including an end to the government’s dragnet collection of telephone metadata and its undermining of encryption standards,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “NSA’s surveillance programs are un-American, unconstitutional, and need to be reined in. We urge President Obama to accept his own Review Panel’s recommendations and end these programs.”

Other recommendations include:

  • Prohibiting the NSA from asking companies to insert backdoors into their software so it can gain access to encrypted communications and networks
  • Creating a public interest advocate to represent civil liberties and privacy interests before the FISA court
  • Providing Privacy Act protections to both U.S. and non-U.S. persons
  • Appointing a civilian to be the next director of the NSA
  • Dividing command of the NSA’s cyberwarfare and cybersecurity units

The report was commissioned by President Obama in August to review the United States’ intelligence collection capabilities and to recommend changes that simultaneously protect U.S. national security and American civil liberties and privacy rights. The review group consists of five members: Richard Clarke, Michael Morell, Geoffrey Stone, Cass Sunstein, and Peter Swire.

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