The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) exists to ensure that national security does not trump privacy and civil liberties, and it has been especially busy since the publication of the first Snowden leak.
The NSA uses Section 215 of the Patriot Act to justify its bulk telephone records collection program. But as we have noted repeatedly, there’s no evidence that the Section 215 program is necessary for stopping terrorism—something PCLOB, the President’s Review Group, and even the administration itself have all admitted. On the other hand, there’s plenty of evidence of how the program invades innocent peoples’ privacy. And PCLOB’s recommendation is very simple here: the program should end.