A committee put together by President Barack Obama in August to investigate the government's vast surveillance operations and how it goes about collecting information here and abroad, delivered a 300 page report outlining why U.S. surveillance programs are "broken" and what can be done to fix them. The committee was put together following damaging document leaks about the NSA's various secret spying programs from former NSA contractor Snowden.
The report suggests 40 different changes, including halting the blanket collection of American phone call logs; requiring intelligence agencies to get prior approval from the White House; require a "promise" from the NSA that it will "not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken or make vulnerable generally available commercial encryption"; stop collecting information about security vulnerabilities in other systems, called 'zero-day attacks'; and many other recommendations.
Advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a statement following the release of the report saying that it was happy with parts of the report, but that it did nothing to close the door on “future mass surveillance and failed to address the constitutionality of the NSA’s mass spying.”
“We’re disappointed that the recommendations suggest a path to continue untargeted spying. Mass surveillance is still heinous, even if private company servers are holding the data instead of government data centers,” Kurt Opsahl, EFF’s staff attorney, said in the post.