The intelligence apparatus used by the political class to surveil millions of ordinary citizens will not be shut down and there is no technological alternative to replace it.

This was the conclusion of the U.S. National Research Council on Thursday. The council issued a report following a call by Obama last year for possible software alternatives to the current “metadata” system.

“A choice to eliminate all forms of bulk collection would have costs in intelligence capabilities,” Council researchers said in the report.

The Obama administration moved to investigate alternatives after the politically damaging revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

A panel convened by the Obama administration concluded last year that it could find no evidence that widespread and pervasive surveillance led to a single breakthrough in counterterror efforts.

Intelligence officials and members of Congress on intelligence committees, however, insist NSA surveillance is critical to an effort to protect the American people from terror.

The NSA claims it only collects metadata on phone calls and internet communications.

According to NSA whistleblower William Binney, the NSA is lying. He says the agency collects at least 80 percent of all audio calls.

Binney insists the objective of widespread NSA surveillance is complete control of the population.

“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control,” Binney said last July, “but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.”

The Supreme Court did rule police cannot search a cell phone without a court warrant.

“Modern cellphones are not just another technological device,” said Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. “With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the ‘privacies of life.’”

Police argue that cell phone encryption has allowed data to be “sealed off from law enforcement” and privacy endangers the public.

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