The White House is poised to bring forth a legislative proposal that would gut and revamp the National Security Agency's data collection program and ultimately, if Congress approves, put an end to the mass seizure and storage of telephone records.
The proposal would require the NSA to stop collecting data on Americans' telephone calls, senior administration officials told The New York Times. A judge would have to issue a new kind of court order for the government to collect any phone records at all — and then those that are collected would stay in the hands of the telephone companies, not the government.
The new proposal would require that the telephone companies get rid of the data after a certain period of time, The Times said.
The plan comes on the heels of President Obama's January promise to get rid of the NSA's power to collect telephone records in bulk, yet still preserve the agency's ability to fight terrorism and U.S. security threats. Then, he ordered the Justice Department to develop a plan by March 28, when the existing court order that allows for the NSA data collection program hits its expiration date.
The NSA uses the phone data to look for links between callers and possible terrorist-tied individuals. The program, under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, was actually put in place under former President George W. Bush.
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