Independent panel on surveillance recommends a curtailment of NSA activities

The president’s independent panel on national security programs issued its report on Wednesday recommending limits on spying.

Among the 46 recommendations, the tech industry will care about the following, as outlined by the New York Times:

  • Stop undermining encryption of data stored on “cloud” servers and make clear the agency will not weaken the strength of commercially available encryption.
  • Stop collecting and using undiscovered flaws in American firms’ software to mount a cyberattack.
  • Create a public interest advocate on privacy and civil liberties at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

It’s unclear if the White House will embrace any of the recommendations, some of which require legislation.

There hasn’t been much reaction yet from tech firms, whose executives were at the White House Tuesday where they talked to the president about national security surveillance programs, as I wrote about in a column today.
Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, a privacy and free speech advocacy group, said that the recommendations were “much stronger than we thought they would be.”

Above: President Obama with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Zynga founder Mark Pincus at the White House this week. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci).

Michelle Quinn Michelle Quinn (78 Posts)

Michelle Quinn is a Business Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. Prior to her current role, she was the Silicon Valley correspondent at Politico covering tech policy and politics. She has also covered the tech industry at the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She was a blogger for the New York Times.