NSA phone metadata collection illegal, ineffective - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

NSA phone metadata collection illegal, ineffective

© Comstock / Thinkstock © Comstock / Thinkstock
  • TechMore>>

  • H&R Block Tax Survey: Top Concerns if Tax Refund is Delayed

    H&R Block Tax Survey: Top Concerns if Tax Refund is Delayed

    Nearly half of American taxpayers are somewhat or very dependent on receiving a tax refund from the IRS. The survey of 3,000 Americans and commissioned by H&R Block also found that if a tax refund was delayed, the biggest concern for one in four respondents would be not having enough money to meet required financial commitments like rent and bills. The IRS is required to hold refunds for returns claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC) and additional child tax credit (ACTC) u...

    More >>

    Nearly half of American taxpayers are somewhat or very dependent on receiving a tax refund from the IRS. The survey of 3,000 Americans and commissioned by H&R Block also found that if a tax refund was delayed, the biggest concern for one in four respondents would be not having enough money to meet required financial commitments like rent and bills. The IRS is required to hold refunds for returns claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC) and additional child tax credit (ACTC) u...

    More >>
  • CES 2018 - Smart home with Mario Armstrong

    CES 2018 - Smart home with Mario Armstrong

    CES 2018 recently unveiled the latest consumer technology and innovations in Las Vegas....and Digital Lifestyle Expert Mario Armstrong partnered with some of the cool, connected products heading straight to our homes.  Check out BestofCES.com for more on these cool gadgets and for more CES 2018 coverage. LG SmartThinQ™ makes it simple to manage your LG appliances from a single app (for Android or iOS) or voice controls using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. ...

    More >>

    CES 2018 recently unveiled the latest consumer technology and innovations in Las Vegas....and Digital Lifestyle Expert Mario Armstrong partnered with some of the cool, connected products heading straight to our homes.  Check out BestofCES.com for more on these cool gadgets and for more CES 2018 coverage. LG SmartThinQ™ makes it simple to manage your LG appliances from a single app (for Android or iOS) or voice controls using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. ...

    More >>
  • CES 2018 - Opening day with Mario Armstrong

    CES 2018 - Opening day with Mario Armstrong

    The hottest consumer electronics and technology were recently unveiled at CES 2018 in Las Vegas…and Digital Lifestyle Expert Mario Armstrong partnered up with some of the exciting brands and products headed our way.  Go to BestofCES.com to learn more about these cool, new devices and for more CES 2018 coverage!

    More >>

    The hottest consumer electronics and technology were recently unveiled at CES 2018 in Las Vegas…and Digital Lifestyle Expert Mario Armstrong partnered up with some of the exciting brands and products headed our way.  Go to BestofCES.com to learn more about these cool, new devices and for more CES 2018 coverage!

    More >>


By Andrew Couts
Provided by


Things keep looking worse for the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' telephone metadata, a program found this week to be illegal and ineffective by an independent government watchdog group. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which Congress made independent in 2007, says the program should simply end.

In a 238-page report due for release Thursday, but leaked early to The New York Times and Washington Post, found that the NSA phone metadata collection, which operates under Section 215 of the Patriot Act and was unveiled in documents leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden, "lacks a viable legal foundation under Section 215, implicates constitutional concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments, raises serious threats to privacy and civil liberties as a policy matter, and has shown only limited value," the report reads.

"As a result, the board recommends that the government end the program."

According to the Post, the report goes on to admonish claims that the metadata collection has substantially reduced threats of terrorism.

"We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation," the report reads. "Moreover, we are aware of no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack."

The board's finding of unconstitutionality and the lack of evidence that the Section 215 phone surveillance program effectively reduces terrorism echoes a recent ruling by a federal judge, who deemed the program "likely unconstitutional," and found an "utter lack of evidence that a terrorist attack has ever been prevented because searching the NSA database was faster than other investigative tactics."

The privacy board's scathing assessment of the program comes during the same week as a major speech by President Barack Obama, who promised to "end the Section 215 bulk metadata program as it currently exists," while voicing support for the program and the NSA employees who administer it. The president issued a directive to reduce the number of "jumps" from a terrorist target's number to other phone numbers during "queries" of the metadata database from three to two. He has also begun investigating ways to effectively hand over phone metadata collection and storage away from the NSA and to a third party, though this transition has not yet taken place.

We will update this space with the text of the report when it becomes public.

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

Content provided by
INFORMATIONAL DISCLAIMER The information contained on or provided through this site is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional financial or accounting advice. Always seek the advice of your accountant or other qualified personal finance advisor for answers to any related questions you may have. Use of this site and any information contained on or provided through this site is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by Frankly