The mass surveillance program, launched by President Bush, defended by President Obama, and now reportedly discontinued by President Trump, was spectacularly unsuccessful at achieving its stated goal of making Americans safer.
Susan Landau, a professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, explains:
While initial statements by the intelligence community brought up 54 incidents in which the bulk collection played a role in thwarting terrorist attacks, a careful examination by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) in 2014 concluded that only a single case was uncovered by the bulk metadata program: that of Basaaly Moalin, who, with three others, arranged support of al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization in Somalia.
This is another sign that the 9/11 era is winding down. Even the advocates of mass surveillance now admit that it did not and does not make American safer.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has reportedly abandoned part of their infamous surveillance apparatus exposed by former contractor Edward Snowden, and used for the mass collection of Americans' communications records; including phone logs, metadata and text messages.
The program used to collect billions of call logs per day for the NSA
EFF filed papers with the court in its long-running Jewel v. NSA mass spying case today that included a surprising witness: Edward Snowden. Mr. Snowden’s short declaration confirms that a document relied upon in the case, a draft NSA Inspector General Report from 2009 discussing the mass surveillance program known as Stellar Wind, is actually the same document that he came upon during the course of his employment at NSA contractor. Mr. Snowden confirms that he remembers the document because it helped convince him that the NSA had been engaged in illegal surveillance.
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