The White House on Thursday disputed the findings of an independent review board that said the National Security Agency’s mass data collection program is illegal and should be ended, indicating the administration would not be taking that advice.
“We simply disagree with the board’s analysis on the legality of the program,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
He was responding to a scathing report from The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), which said the program ran afoul of the law on several fronts.
“The … bulk telephone records program lacks a viable legal foundation,” the board’s report said, adding that it raises “serious threats to privacy and civil liberties” and has “only limited value.” The report, further, said the NSA should “purge” the files.
The president did not go nearly as far when he called last week for ending government control of phone data collected from hundreds of millions of Americans.
Carney claimed the president, in his address last week, did “directly derive” some of his ideas from the board’s draft recommendations. But he made clear that Obama does not see eye to eye with them on the legitimacy of mass phone record collection.
“The administration believes that the program is lawful,” he said.
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