The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board issued a svelte 238 page report today that says the NSA’s bulk telephone metadata collection program is illegal. Perhaps even more important:
Based on information provided to the Board, 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 found. “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.”
To date, the NSA and the administration have continued to claim that the privacy intrusions of telephone metadata program were justified by the national security benefits. Well, so much for the benefits.
We need to end this now.