NSA surveillance has stopped no terror attacks at all
A White House panel revealed that the NSA's extensive, probably illegal, spying efforts have successfully stopped exactly zero terror attacks.
A member of the White House review panel on NSA surveillance said he was “absolutely” surprised when he discovered the agency’s lack of evidence that the bulk collection of telephone call records had thwarted any terrorist attacks, said Geoffrey Stone, a University of Chicago law professor, in an interview with NBC News. “The results were very thin.”
While Stone said the mass collection of telephone call records was a “logical program” from the NSA’s perspective, one question the White House panel was seeking to answer was whether it had actually stopped “any [terror attacks] that might have been really big.”
“We found none,” said Stone.
Under the NSA program, first revealed by ex-contractor Edward Snowden, the agency collects en-masse the records of the time and duration of phone calls made by persons inside (and sometimes outside) the United States.
Stone was one of five members of the White House review panel – and the only one without any intelligence community experience – that this week produced a sweeping report recommending that the NSA’s collection of phone call records be terminated to protect Americans’ privacy rights.
The panel made that recommendation after concluding that the program was “not essential in preventing attacks.”
“That was stunning. That was the ballgame,” said one congressional intelligence official, who asked not to be publicly identified. “It flies in the face of everything that they have tossed at us.”
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