NSA bulk phone snooping program shuts down2015-11-30 02:47 by Daniela
Tags: NSA, surveillance
The National Security Agency (NSA) has recently ended its bulk collection of telephone metadata. The mass phone surveillance program began 14 years ago and was revealed two years ago by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
The aim of the practice was to help locate suspected terrorist activity since the September 11 attacks. Under the program, phone companies had to hand over key information about their customers' phone records to the NSA, which stored the information. However, according to civil liberty groups, the system allowed the government too much power to snoop on citizens.
Now, as part of the USA Freedom Act which President Barack Obama signed over the summer, the NSA will be forbidden from indiscriminately collecting Americans' call metadata. Instead, agents will be required to obtain a targeted warrant or court order to collect phone metadata from telecommunications companies.
The NSA will still have access to five years' worth of legacy data through February 29th, but that's as far as its access will go.
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