White House Panel to Obama: Rein in the NSA

Experts Say Meta-Data Collection Presents 'Lurking Danger of Abuse.'
3:00 | 12/18/13

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Transcript for White House Panel to Obama: Rein in the NSA
wednesday night as giant questions about life, liberty and security in america are in the spotlight. Tonight a group of advisers hand picked by the president has told him to stop monitoring phone records across this country and to reign in measures used by the spy agency, the nsa. But the president has said those programs are important in the fight against terror, so what will the president do now? Abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross tells us. Reporter: It was another devastating blow for the nsa. Today's report said the nsa's collection of the phone records of every american should be shut down because it presents a lurking danger of abuse and does not make the country any safer. We think the so called meta data program has not been essential, has not contributed significantly to the prevention of terrorist attacks. Reporter: The panel and now abc news consultant richard clark delivered the 300 page report and 46 recommendations to the present the this morning. The message from the nsa is coming to every corner of america. You've gone too far. Reporter: The white house said president obama was studying the recommendations, but over the summer he defended the nsa phone record collection program as a key to preventing terror attacks. As I've said, this program is an important tool in our effort to disrupt terrorist plots. Reporter: But the report found that the nsa program resulted in only 12 tips last year to the fbi and no record of successful cases. The nsa has run amock because it's been systematically violating the right of privacy to millions of americans. Reporter: The review panel was formed in the wake of the revelations of edward snowden and his supporters say today's report shows the importance of his actions. It's a complete vindication of everything that he said and what caused him to come forward. Reporter: The tide seems to be turning in public sentiment about the nsa program. This parody christmas video produced by the aclu mocking the nsa has been seen almost a million times online in just six days ♪ the nsa is coming to town ♪ Reporter: Of the 46 recommendations the president has already rejected one of them, that a civilian, not someone from the military should run the nsa. The president says he will decide on the others by next month, now on the spot over whether to kill a program that he said many times has saved american lives. We'll have the answer next month? Mid january. Thank you, brian ross.

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