“. . . . the NSA should stop collecting its massive trove of telephone data,” according to a Government review panel set up by President Obama. “Instead, the data should be kept by a third party, possibly the telephone companies.” This news from ARSTECHNICA.
The report, issued Wednesday, “suggests more than 40 other changes, some of them far-reaching. It recommends splitting up control of the NSA and US Cyber Command, limiting National Security Letters (NSLs) sent out by the FBI, making the head of the NSA a civilian post, and creating a “Civil Liberties and Privacy Protection Board” with greater oversight over NSA activities.”
“Companies that receive orders to hand over bulk data should be allowed to disclose basic information about the requests—for instance, the number of requests complied with—to the public on a periodic basis. Providing more disclosures is something that major tech companies like Google and Microsoft have asked to do”
Speaking of Google – AMERICAN OVERLOOK reports, “Google is telling the National Security Administration to back off its surveillance. Google has now begun to encrypt digital traffic between its data centers, which in the past have accounted for over a third of the NSA’s targeted surveillance. Turning off this source of information effectively dismantles the NSA’s intelligence database. . . . The publication also noted that the NSA developed an intense understanding of Google’s network and then constructed a “reverse-engineered” operation to “pry apart” the network for surveillance purposes.”
The NSA might be doing an “end-around.” Linda Moulton Howe told George Noory last night on COAST TO COAST AM, ” NSA has been working closely with the Canadian intelligence agency known as
Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) to the point that the NSA
has asked the Canadian agency to use Canada’s more innocent face in world
affairs to create covert spying posts for them, Linda detailed. She interviewed
Canadian security and intelligence expert at the University of Ottawa, Prof.
Wesley Wark, who joins the opinion of tech giants such as Google and Microsoft
to say that the Digital Era is giving intelligence agencies an unprecedented
behind-the-scenes dominance in world affairs that must be reined in if
democracies are to survive.
Meanwhile, a Federal judge found the program is likely unconstitutional. According to THE GUARDIAN, “A federal judge in Washington ruled on Monday that the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records by the National Security Agency is likely to violate the US constitution. . . . Judge Richard Leon declared that the mass collection of metadata probably violates the fourth amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and was “almost Orwellian” in its scope. In a judgment replete with literary swipes against the NSA, he said James Madison, the architect of the US constitution, would be “aghast” at the scope of the agency’s collection of Americans’ communications data.. . . . The ruling, by the US district court for the District of Columbia, is a blow to the Obama administration, and sets up a legal battle that will drag on for months, almost certainly destined to end up in the supreme court.
“Leon expressed doubt about the central rationale for the program cited by the NSA: that it is necessary for preventing terrorist attacks. “The government does not cite a single case in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent terrorist attack,” he wrote”