Obama Looks to Wind Down NSA's Bulk Data Collection
Proposal leaves data with phone companies
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2014 2:48 AM CDT
This NSA data center in Utah will become a lot quieter under the proposal.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(Newser) – President Obama wants the federal government to stop sucking up huge amounts of data on Americans' phone calls, administration officials tells the New York Times. The president—days away from his own deadline for revamping the National Security Agency's phone-surveillance program—is set to roll out a proposal that would leave the data in the hands of phone companies, where NSA agents could only obtain it with permission from a judge, the sources say. A new kind of court order would streamline the process.

The administration plans to renew the current surveillance program for another 90-day cycle, officials say, but it will bring in major changes after that if Congress approves the proposal. The House Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, has unveiled a bill that would make it easier for government agencies to acquire the phone and email records of any "individual or facility" for up to a year, the Guardian finds. The bill prohibits bulk collection of data, but allows the collection of records based on "reasonable articulable suspicion" instead of probable cause.
 

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