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Wednesday, December 18, 2013
U.S. Panel To Release Report On Surveillance Practices


A U.S. National Security Agency surveillance review board report will be released by President Barack Obama on Wednesday. The report is expected to include a set of new policy procedures aimed at reining in the National Security Agency.

According to the Washington Post, the report of the outside advisory panel includes 46 recommendations. It is barring NSA from asking companies to build "backdoors" into their software so that the government may gain access to encrypted communications. The NSA would also be prevented from undermining global encryption standards and prohibited from stockpiling "zero day" hacking tools that can be used to penetrate computer systems, and in some cases, damage or destroy them. The panel also suggested moving the NSA's information assurance directorate, which is in charge of protecting classified government computer systems, under a separate entity.

The White House is free to accept, reject or modify the panel's ideas. President Obama will announce next month some constraints on the intelligence community to ensure American officials are focusing on foreign threats and not simply gathering information because they have the capability to do so.

Obama said earlier this month in a television interview that he would be "proposing some self-restraint on the NSA" in reforms that the White House has said will be announced in January.

A federal judge ruled on Monday that the U.S. government's gathering of Americans' phone records is likely unlawful, adding pressure on Obama to act.

And the president met for more than two hours on Tuesday to hear concerns firsthand from executives from companies like Apple, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.



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