NYT: White House Speeds Release of Report on Changes to NSA
WASHINGTON — The White House said on Wednesday that it would release later in the day a report of a presidential advisory committee that issued more than 40 recommendations about how to alter the National Security Agency’s data gathering at home and abroad.
The announcement by the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, came just after President Obama met with the five members of his review board in the Situation Room, where they explained a series of recommendations that one official described as “significantly more far-reaching than many expected.”
According to officials familiar with the report, the advisory group called for continuing the bulk collection of data about telephone calls, but moving it to private hands, a process that officials say could take several years. Some members of the group also favored splitting command of the N.S.A., which conducts surveillance, from the United States Cyber Command, the Pentagon’s cyberwarfare unit, to avoid concentrating too much power in the hands of a single individual. But Mr. Obama has rejected that approach.
The report is also highly critical of some of the N.S.A. practices that have most angered technology companies, like the agency’s effort to make sure that the government can gain access to all encrypted communications, and the purchase by government agencies of information about previously undiscovered flaws in common software, especially Microsoft Windows, that could be exploited by government hackers.