Today, Access released its analysis and review of the President Obama’s Advisory Committee’s Recommendations for N.S.A. reform. While some of the suggested reforms could lead to welcomed increase of privacy protections, overall the recommendations do not go far enough.
Access gave an “A+” to the recommendations that would end the use of Section 215 to engage in bulk, untargeted collection of personal information and the recommendations that could halt the use of NSLs as an unilateral way for U.S. government agencies to get around the courts to compel the disclosure of personal information.
Similarly, Access welcomed recommendations that would provide public assurance that the NSA will no longer circumvent cybersecurity measures, and provide concrete legal rights and protections to non-US persons.
Unfortunately, the review board failed to address many key concerns with the existing U.S. data collection program. Specifically, Access gave a failing “F” grade to the recommendation would that would allow data retention by private companies. In addition, Access is troubled by the recommendation that would expand the circle of national governments – currently known as the “Five Eyes” – with access to sensitive user information while also expanding their ability to circumvent their own laws and regulations.