Rein it in, report says.
According to leaked copies of a forthcoming report by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), the government’s metadata collection program “lacks a viable legal foundation under Section 215, implicates constitutional concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments, raises serious threats to privacy and civil liberties as a policy matter, and has shown only limited value… As a result, the board recommends that the government end the program.”
The metadata program, which compels at least Verizon (and likely other telcos as well) to routinely hand over all phone records to the National Security Agency, was first disclosed as the result of the leak by Edward Snowden in June 2013.
Three of the five members of the board (who are all lawyers) went so far as to declare the entire program illegal. However, the Board does not have the authority to do anything beyond make recommendations to Congress and to the president.