This is the board's second report on NSA spy programs

A U.S. privacy board recently said that the National Security Administration's (NSAs) data collection methods have been effective for security purposes, but also treading on U.S. citizens' privacy in some instances. 

According to Reuters, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board -- which is an independent government agency established in 2004 that advises the U.S. president and Congress on counter-terrorism operations -- said in a recent report that the data collection program allowed the government to collect foreign intelligence "quickly and effectively." 

However, some parts of the program have pushed into "constitutional unreasonableness" when it comes to the privacy of U.S. citizens, according to the board. 

The board also offered some recommendations so that the program could balance privacy, civil rights and national security better than before. 

The five-person board wrote a previous report on NSA programs back in January. That report had a much different conclusion, saying that the NSA's bulk collection of phone records is illegal, and provides only minimal benefits to countering terrorism. It went on further to say that the program should end entirely.

The NSA has had the spotlight ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden blew the cover on its surveillance programs early last year, which consisted of bulk data collection from sources like phone records, where the government took on a "collect now, filter later" approach. The agency has said that the bulk data collection was meant to identify terrorist threats, but was discovered that the data of Americans has been collected without any clear evidence of terrorist links.  

A presidential review panel made 46 recommendations regarding greater restraint on the NSA's surveillance programs in December 2013, where one of the major recommendations involved the elimination of bulk collection of phone call records. 

Source: Reuters

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