Via Ars Technica:
A White House panel examining the privacy and legal fallout from the massive National Security Agency spying revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden concluded that the snooping was lawful yet "close to the line of constitutional reasonableness."191 pages and no privacy for you.
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Board said that the programs that tap undersea cables and acquire data from ISPs like Yahoo and Google with broad orders from a secret court are "authorized by Congress, reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, and an extremely valuable and effective intelligence tool."
The 191-page report (PDF), released late Tuesday, was largely condemned by civil liberties advocates and scholars.
"Sadly, the board has failed to fulfill its responsibility here, which is to ensure that counterterrorism policies safeguard privacy and civil liberties,” Elizabeth Goitein, a director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “The collection of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a warrant is unconstitutional, regardless of whether they are communicating with their next-door neighbor or a suspected terrorist overseas. The board, however, endorsed a ‘foreign intelligence exception’ to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement that is far broader than what any regular federal court has ever recognized. The board's recommendations would leave in place the government’s ability to spy on its citizens—along with their friends, family members, and business partners overseas—without any suspicion of wrongdoing.”