Wednesday, March 11, 2020

NSA's call detail records program

By Stewart Baker - March 11, 2020 at 10:58AM

The NSA's effort to use call detail records to spot cross-border terror plots has a long history. It began life in deepest secrecy, became public (and controversial) after Edward Snowden's leaks, and was then "reformed" in the USA Freedom Act. Now it's up for renewal, and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, or PCLOB, has weighed in with a deep report on how the program has functioned – and why NSA has suspended it.

In this episode I interview Travis LeBlanc, a PCLOB Member, about the report and the program. Travis is a highly effective advocate, bringing me around on several issues, including whether the program should be continued and even whether the authority to revive it would be useful. It's a superb guide to a program whose renewal is currently being debated (against a March 15 deadline!) in Congress.

And, uh, asking for a friend: Do the early stages of covid-19 infection make you more susceptible to persuasion?

Download the 305th Episode (mp3).

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