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Government Surveillance

PCLOB Report Fails to Offer Necessary 702 Reforms

Today the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released a report on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. That section permits the government to compel US companies to assist with surveillance that targets people and entities reasonably believed to be abroad.

“The Board’s report is a tremendous disappointment,” said CDT President Nuala O’Connor. “Even in the few instances where it recognizes the privacy implications of these programs, it provides little reassurance to all who care about digital civil liberties,” she said.

“The weak recommendations in the report offer no serious reform of government intrusions on the lives of individuals. It also offers scant support to the U.S. tech industry in its efforts to alleviate customer concerns about NSA surveillance, which continue to harm the industry in the global marketplace,” she added.

“If there is a silver lining, it is that the Board recognized that surveillance of people abroad implicates their human rights, as well as the constitutional rights of people in the U.S.,” said Greg Nojeim, Director of CDT’s Project on Freedom, Security and Technology. “However, the Board defers until a future date its consideration of human rights and leaves it to Congress to address the important constitutional issues,” he added.