The US National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance of Americans’ phone records, known as metadata, is an “abuse of the rights” of American citizens, an analyst says.
“I believe that this whole program…is an abuse of the rights of citizens in our country,” Danny Schechter, member of the mediachannel.org said in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday.
The analyst also noted that US President Barack Obama’s pledges to reform the mass surveillance on American citizens “don’t go far enough to rein these practices in.”
“It’s pretty arrogant for the American government to presume that it has the right to spy on the whole world including our allies, including foreign leaders, who are supportive of the United States,” he added.
There has been a heated debate over NSA’s bulk metadata collection program.
NSA claims that this is permissible since the content of the calls are not collected, while the opponents of the program say the metadata alone is more than enough to reveal vast amounts of personal information.
On Tuesday, former CIA director, Michael Hayden, admitted that Washington uses the metadata as the basis for killing people.
Metadata is a reference to the information collected by the NSA from American citizens and “suspected militants” in other countries. The US uses the data to select targets for drone strikes around the world.
According to documents leaked by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, the agency analyzes metadata as well as mobile-tracking technology to determine targets, without employing human intelligence to confirm a suspect’s identity.