Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Jan. 23, 2014) (full-text).
On January 23, 2014, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released this report, which called for the end of the Section 215 program that allows the NSA to collect the telephone records of all Americans. The Board unanimously found that "the NSA's Section 215 program has not proven useful in identifying unknown terrorists or terrorist plots" and that "telephone calling records, when collected in bulk and subjected to powerful analytical tools, can reveal highly sensitive personal information." A majority of the Board also concluded that Section 215 did not permit the routine collection of all telephone records on all Americans.
The report set out 12 recommendations discussing additional privacy safeguards, greater transparency, and improvements to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The Board almost unanimously supported almost all of the recommendations.