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5 major NSA spying task force recommendations

  • Article by: The Associated Press
  • Associated Press
  • December 19, 2013 - 3:00 AM

Five major recommendations from the 46 proposals by the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology to change National Security Agency surveillance programs and other intelligence and counterterrorism operations:

— The White House and Congress should pass new legislation that would end the NSA's massive, daily collection and storage of telephone data from American users and instead keep the phone data either with the major telephone companies or with a "private third party." The NSA could only seek the data by federal court order.

— Surveillance of foreign leaders would be subject to high-level scrutiny by the president and senior national security officials before any approval is given.

— National Security letters, which previously allowed authorities to seize financial and phone records without court approval, would now be issued only with prior "judicial finding."

— Creation of a public interest advocate who would represent civil liberties interests before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, which oversees NSA programs in secret sessions.

— Stop the NSA's weakening of secure encryption standards used by tech companies and businesses globally to store their confidential data.

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