Short Bytes: The NSA will end its bulk phone spying program by 11:59 p.m. EST Saturday (4:59 a.m. GMT Sunday). This step is being taken as back in June Congress passed the USA Freedom Act and banned the controversial metadata collection.
Back in June, this step was ordered by Congress, which passed the USA Freedom Act and banned the controversial metadata (read ‘information related to my calls’) collection. The bulk phone spying program will now be replaced by better-targeted surveillance programs.
The White House said that as the law suggests, the NSA will end its program by 11:59 p.m. EST Saturday (4:59 a.m. GMT Sunday).
This is a very long-awaited step for the activists, privacy advocates, and the tech companies. Under the new USA Freedom Act, the law enforcement agencies like the NSA can no longer collect bulk telephone records to sniff some particular suspicious activities.
Under the new system, NSA and other agencies need court’s order to collect someone’s phone record. However, NSA isn’t immediately deleting all its data.
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The metadata collected by NSA over the past 5 years will be saved for “data integrity purposes” through February 29. After that, the NSA will delete all of its historic records once pending litigation is resolved.
In the wake of the recent terror attacks at Paris, some Republican lawmakers demanded to continue the program until 2017.
This end of the mass snooping program is a good news that changes the way government looks upon its people. However, it would be interesting to note the provisions made in the new surveillance programs as White House needs to strike a perfect balance between privacy and security.
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