Obama to overhaul NSA phone metadata collection program

Jan 17, 2014
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One of the biggest stories last year that enraged privacy advocates was the details of a program being run by the NSA to store phone call information on people in the US. The White House issued a report back in December 2013 that recommended reforms of the NSA that included one recommendation that would see the NSA delete all of the bulk metadata that it had collected.

The recommendations also suggested that this sort of bulk data only be kept by telecom companies for five years in most cases and only be accessed by the NSA with a court order. President Obama is delivering a speech today at 11am at the Justice Department where he will say he is ordering a transition that will change the handling of the metadata program operated by the NSA.

Obama is expected to say that the government should not hold the bulk metadata. That announcement isn’t expected to set well with intelligence officials. Obama is also expected to announce that access to the database with the metadata will be blocked unless a judicial finding is issued.

One thing that Obama isn’t expected to announce is that the phone companies will be charged with storing the data. Obama isn’t expected to say who should store the data in the future according to sources claiming to be familiar with the speech. The president reportedly believes that this program is an important part of being able to counter terrorist threats. The president is also expected to announce the scaling back of other spying programs.

SOURCE: Reuters


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