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Government Surveillance

Striking Review Group Report Adds to Momentum For Real Surveillance Reform

The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, today released its report on surveillance and security. The report, which was delivered to the President last week, details the Group’s recommended reforms to U.S. surveillance practices. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) issued the following statement on the report:

“The Review Group’s remarkably strong report adds to the growing momentum for meaningful reform of intelligence and surveillance practices. The Review Group clearly recommends the end to bulk collection of telephone records, going as far as to say it is not essential to preventing terrorist attacks. If implemented, its ringing call for more transparency will bring to the public a much-needed understanding about the scope of intelligence surveillance. This report is the latest nail in the coffin of unchecked, unrestrained and unlawful NSA surveillance,” said Greg Nojeim, Director of CDT’s Project on Freedom, Security and Technology.

“The surprising call in the report to end national security letter authority and replace it with court orders would bring much needed checks to the system. Its recommendation to extend Privacy Act rights to people abroad will be well received outside the U.S. Also, the report’s call for splitting off NSA’s cybersecurity duties from its code-cracking mission should help end the paradoxical nature of its work,” Nojeim added.

CDT’s Chief Technologist, Joseph Lorenzo Hall stated: “The Review Group’s report clearly sides with the public interest in secure communications tools and software. It recognizes the importance of strong encryption and securely patched software that is free from vulnerabilities that the government knows about but hasn’t disclosed.”

Further analysis of the report will soon be available on the CDT blog.