Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 20, 2014

Panel Seeks to Overhaul Spy Practices

“A presidentially appointed panel reviewing U.S. surveillance programs is recommending a major overhaul of both foreign and domestic spy practices that, if adopted, would amount to a major wing-clipping of the National Security Agency,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The 46 proposals present President Barack Obama with a major test of how far he is willing to push the envelope on reform. The panel would revamp NSA’s phone records collection program as well as the process of foreign spying. Mr. Obama will decide in coming weeks which of the recommendations he will implement. None of the group’s recommendations are binding.”

The New York Times notes the proposed measures would end the government’s systematic collection of logs of all Americans’ phone calls, and to keep those in private hands, “for queries and data mining” only by court order. The panel “also strongly recommended that any operation to spy on foreign leaders would have to pass a rigorous test that weighs the potential economic or diplomatic costs if the operation becomes public.”

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