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I will admit to being rather skeptical of the panel that Obama appointed to review the activities of the NSA in the wake of the Snowden revelations. It's membership seemed to be limited to comfortable insiders. Now the report is out and it is a bit more complex than I would have expected.

Strip NSA of power to collect phone data records, Obama review panel says

The National Security Agency should be banned from attempting to undermine the security of the internet and stripped of its power to collect telephone records in bulk, a White House review panel recommended on Wednesday.

In a 300-page report prepared for President Obama, the panel made 46 recommendations, including that the authority for spying on foreign leaders should be granted at a higher level than at present.

Though far less sweeping than campaigners have urged, and yet to be ratified by Obama, the report by his Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology comes as the White House faces growing pressure over its so-called “bulk collection” programs from US courts and business interests.

The other recommendations seem to be relatively technical in nature. The headline item is the bulk data collection. Obama has not made any statements as to whether or not he will implement any of the recommendations,

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wonder what more egregious acts the NSA has (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    engaged in will be divulged by the Snowden Revalations.

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM UID 2547

    by ROGNM on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:03:40 PM PST

  •  This Trevor Timm guy hates it: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, greengemini
  •  Sorry, but there's a key paragraph that should... (10+ / 0-)

    ...be noted in this story (as far as the community's concerned)...

    ...In its report, the review panel, led by former security officials and academics including the husband of one of Obama's top advisers, said the NSA should be removed of its power to collect the metadata of Americans' phone calls. Instead, it suggested that private companies such as phone carriers retain their customer records in a format that the NSA can access on demand...
    Furthermore, this action proposed by the review panel was dealt with by Attorney General Holder (with the President's approval) in March, 2012.

    Additionally, it's common knowledge that GCHQ and the other "Five Eyes" maintain access to not just the metadata (which is, supposedly, at the heart of this recommendation); but, to the content of the calls, as well. (This is one of the cleanest ways to facilitate taps, "legally," these days. Simply do them outside of the U.S. borders; which is one of the many good reasons why the NSA has somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 employees in Great Britain, working at GCHQ, where they all maintain direct access to the NSA's PRISM database[s].)

    The New York Times provided extensive reporting on Holder's actions (and I've cited this many times in posts since March 2012, as well), cited 2 paragraphs above; and Marcy Wheeler and a slew of other folks (again, including yours truly) have provided far more than ample evidence to support the comments in the paragraph, immediately above.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:17:26 PM PST

    •  I'm just surprised (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobswern, Lost Left Coaster

      that the felt that they had to go as far as they did.

      •  "The 'show' must go on..." (3+ / 0-)

        ...but, it's important that we not mistake it for what actually happens (and is happening) once the cameras stop rolling and the lights are turned off.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:30:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's no assurance (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobswern, Lost Left Coaster

          that Obama will implement even these.

          •  Yup...virtually all indications are... (5+ / 0-)

            ...and this comment's based upon recent stories in the press (over the past few days), that little is going to change, as far as the NSA's actions (to date) are concerned. Of course, they're going to be a LOT more conscious about their internal security, and with regard to their p.r.

            (The President's already stated that he's not going to tap Merkel's phones, but he refused to make that commitment as far as countries like Brazil, etc., were concerned. The government has also, already, decided NOT to break up the senior-most position in the NSA, into two directors, even though that effort/recommendation was widely-publicized in previous weeks, too.)

            What we have here is the NSA playing perception politics...but, their credibility is completely shot, as are the words from anyone in our government that parrots their memes.

            So, there'll be plenty of quotes for people to parrot, even here--those that are supporting the administration in their, ongoing Orwellian endeavors.

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:37:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  U.S. government may access and, if necessary... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, Mr Robert, Chi, greengemini

      ...not just obtain data from U.S. corporations' (telecoms, telcos, etc.) databases as they deem necessary, but DoJ, et al, have been provided with the over-arching authorization by both Holder and the President, to actually COPY those databases (and update them on a real-time basis, if necessary) as they deem fit. (This is official as of March, 2012; and the government may hold onto this data for up to five years, on ANY U.S. citizen, whether they're under suspicion by the government, or not! Furthermore, the NSA has just stated, in the past couple of weeks [I believe it was Gen. Alexander, but I may be wrong in that reference], that it'll be many years before the NSA's fully-enabled [technologically] to NOT capture incidental information on millions of U.S. citizens that are not under suspicion by our nation's intelligence and/or law enforcement organizations.)

      This pretty much undermines any comments made these days to the contrary (by the p.r. regarding the review boards recommendations, or anyone else, for that matter, except for maybe the SCOTUS or FISC), since they are NOT being overridden by any review or recommendation from a "panel."

      And, it's widely held that Judge Leon's ruling over the past few days will--far more than likely--not hold up to further review by higher courts (i.e.: SCOTUS, FISC, etc.), although it would be NICE to hope that it would. I'd think that'd be great, in fact. (It's nice to dream.)

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:26:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, these recommendations "sound" interesting! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Youffraita

        I love great p.r.!!! But, the credibility of the government on these matters is shot, and has been so for many, many years (as well know).

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:28:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hopefully Obama will adopt these recs, they're (0+ / 0-)

    pretty close to all others out there.

  •  Nine Most Important Recommendations (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.motherjones.com/...

    I like #6 the most:

    "If a US person is inadvertently surveilled, that information cannot be used as evidence in any court proceeding."

  •  Bottom line (4+ / 0-)

    As long as meaningful encryption is illegal (see Lavabit) all of this is useless window dressing.  All electronic data transmission should be regarded as insecure, anywhere in the world.  

  •  I think they were scared shitless (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    Given the membership they were afraid that standing their ground would end up with them losing everything. So they logically recommended some changes. Nevertheless, I'm taking a wait and see attitude particularly considering that I think the NSA should be shut down.

    My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

    by Mr Robert on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 05:51:20 PM PST

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