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Government panel urges end to phone data spying

January 24, 2014 • Business


FILE – In this Jan. 17, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama talks about National Security Agency surveillance in Washington. A government review panel warned Jan. 23, 2014, that the NSA’s daily collection of Americans’ phone records is illegal and recommended that Obama abandon the program and destroy the hundreds of millions of phone records it has already collected. The recommendations by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board go further than Obama is willing to accept and increase pressure on Congress to make changes. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government review panel warned Thursday that the National Security Agency’s daily collection of Americans’ phone records is illegal and recommended that President Barack Obama abandon the program and destroy the hundreds of millions of phone records it has already collected.

The recommendations by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board go further than Obama is willing to accept and increase pressure on Congress to make changes.

The panel’s 234-page report included dissents from two of the board’s five members — former Bush administration national security lawyers who recommended that the government keep collecting the phone records. The board described key parts of its report to Obama this month before he announced his plans last week to change the government’s surveillance activities.

In that speech, Obama said the bulk phone collection program would continue for the time being. He directed the Justice Department and intelligence officials to find ways to end the government’s control over the phone Login to read more

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