The National Security Agency and other agencies did not misuse provisions of the United States surveillance program, according to a ruling from a U.S. government privacy oversight board, as reported by IDG News Service. The board also cautioned that certain areas of the program raise privacy concerns. One of those areas includes the incidental collection of communications of United States residents.
The ruling was issued on Tuesday by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which said that it has not found any traces of illegitimate activity surrounding information collected by the government as it pertains to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The report stated the following:
“Such aspects include the unknown and potentially large scope of the incidental collection of U.S. persons’ communications, the use of ‘about’ collection to acquire Internet communications that are neither to nor from the target of surveillance, and the use of queries to search for the communications of specific U.S. persons within the information that has been collected.”
The panel did not discuss the expectations of lawmakers and civil rights groups who recommended ways to stop backdoor spying on people in the country.
The panel issued ten recommendations that are aimed at arriving at a better balance between civil liberties, privacy and national security. Some of the recommendations include changing the targeting procedure, changing the procedure for queries using people identifiers in the country and the role the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in the process of certification.