The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) released its report on the National Security Agency (NSA) program that collects en masse phone metadata, noting it provides minimal benefits to thwarting terrorism, is illegal and should come to a halt, Reuters reports. The PCLOB report goes further in criticizing the programs than did President Barack Obama and his ad hoc review panel. “The Section 215 bulk telephone records program lacks a viable legal foundation under Section 215,” the PCLOB report states, adding it “raises serious threats to privacy and civil liberties as a policy matter and has shown only limited value.” Two of the board’s members—Rachel Brand and Elisebeth Collins Cook—voted against the recommendation to end the bulk collection. The PCLOB is also working on a separate report on the NSA’s Internet surveillance. The Guardian has compiled quotes from groups and lawmakers calling for the end of bulk phone records collection.
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