Obama announces new privacy rules for non-US citizens
Wed 11 Feb 2015, 03:20

President Obama recently announced slight changes to NSA data collection practices. The recent tweaks mean two new privacy protections for those that U.S. law considers foreigners (in this case, people who are outside of the United States borders who are neither U.S. citizens nor legal U.S. residents). The new protections are:

  1. If the U.S. government collects information about a foreigner, it will consider the  privacy ramifications before disseminating that information, such as to other governments;1 and
  2. If the U.S. government collects information on innocent foreigners not connected to any crime or investigation and the information has no national security value, it will dispose of that information after five years.2

That’s right, the world's personal information will only be retained for five short years. And that's if the U.S. government decides you're not under suspicion.

David Medine, the chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, has said that "There’s no country on the planet that has gone this far to improve the treatment of non-citizens in government surveillance."

Why is bulk collection of telephone records still happening?
Thu 5 Feb 2015, 03:20

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.

Obama must finally end NSA phone record collection, says privacy board
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 00:00

The US government’s privacy board is calling out President Barack Obama for continuing to collect Americans’ phone data in bulk, a year after it urged an end to the controversial National Security Agency program.

The Obama administration could cease the mass acquisition of US phone records “at any time”, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) said in an assessment it issued on Thursday.