NSA Ceases Collecting Phone Data in Bulk

Posted by at 10:45 am on November 30, 2015

NSA LogoThe National Security Agency is no longer sucking in all the data generated by Americans’ phone calls.

The NSA was required to shut down its surveillance program by the end of the day Nov. 28. The program, first brought to light by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, allowed the agency to collect phone call metadata in bulk in the hope that law enforcement could draw connections between suspected criminals.

Privacy advocates charged the program was invasive and overreaching, as it collected data from all Americans, rather than just those being targeted. The NSA has put a smaller replacement program in place that is defined by the Freedom Act, passed earlier this year. Moving forward, the NSA needs a court order to seek call records from telecommunications companies, and those requests need to be confined to specific people or groups.

The data already collected by the NSA will be maintained until Feb. 29, 2016, after which it will be deleted.

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