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Obama asked his Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight* Board to look into the NSA's domestic spying activities, and they've now concluded, among other things, that the phone surveillance program is "illegal and useless", and that the government should immediately stop gathering this information and purge the database that's already been collected.
... the board found that it is impossible that all the records collected — billions daily — could be relevant to a single investigation “without redefining that word in a manner that is circular, unlimited in scope.”...“At its core, the approach boils down to the proposition that essentially all telephone records are relevant to essentially all international terrorism investigations,” the report said. This approach, it said, “at minimum, is in deep tension with the statutory requirement that items obtained through a Section 215 order be sought for ‘an investigation,’ not for the purpose of enhancing the government’s counterterrorism capabilities generally.”
I know appeals to authority are a pretty specious argument, but take a look [private]: Here's some pretty smart folks who agree with me in a virtually identical line of argument!
*I originally typed "Oversight" as "Overshit". Freudian slip?