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NSA review panel calls for reform and end to call gathering

The panel proposes stricter guidelines and a higher standard of proof before the NSA allowed to collect and search data.

Image: Shutterstock

A US PRESIDENTIAL task force has drafted recommendations that will limit how the National Security Agency (NSA) gathers and holds information.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the proposals suggest radical changes to the agency, focusing on changing its structure as well as transparency and internal security.

One of the proposals suggest that the records of US phone call collected by the NSA should be held by the phone company or a third-party organisation instead.

This would prevent it from collecting bulk data, a practice which has come under criticism after it was revealed that it collects five billion call records a day.

The panel also proposed that the NSA must have a higher standard of proof first before it’s allowed to collect and search data.

NSA officials have said they are open to changing the program, but warned that broad changes would hamper the agency’s speed and effectiveness because it would require separate searches of multiple databases.

The report, which will be presented to the White House on Sunday, comes from the task force that US president Barack Obama created in August in response to Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing. The recommendations aren’t binding and could change before the final draft is decided.

The White House has said it will be reviewing its surveillance programs and policies, which is expected to be completed by the end of this month, and will consider the recommendations.

Read: Major tech companies ask US government to reform surveillance laws >

Read: Global censorship could end in a decade says Google boss >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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