White House considers four options for modifying NSA mass phone surveillance

The Wall Street Journal reports that administration lawyers have presented the White House with four options for reforming the NSA’s mass phone-surveillance program the first of which would require phone companies to store such data and deliver specific search requests.

A second option presented to the White House would have a government agency other than the NSA hold the data, according to a U.S. official. Candidates for this option could include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which some current and former intelligence officials have recommended.

Another possibility floated in policy circles was turning the program over to the custody of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees the phone-data and other NSA surveillance programs, but judges have balked at an expanded role for the court.

A third option would be for an entity outside the phone companies or the government to hold the data, officials said. This approach has been criticized by privacy groups who say such a third party would just become an extension of the NSA and would provide no additional privacy benefit.

A final alternative would be to scrap the phone-data program and instead bolster investigative efforts under current authorities to obtain the information about possible terrorist connections some other way, an official said. Mr. Obama acknowledged this approach in his January speech, but said “more work needs to be done to determine exactly how this system might work.”

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1 thought on “White House considers four options for modifying NSA mass phone surveillance

  1. Norman

    So again, after the animals have taken their flight because the gates were left unguarded/open, what ever the excuse, more time is needed, yet what’s that going to accomplish. The trust that should be with the public of its government, has been eroded, perhaps beyond the pale. Perhaps the trust could be restored, if the NSA turned over the information it possess about the corruption in the Government, all of it. But that’s never going to happen, because the terrorists that the NSA supposedly snoops for, but never finds, are right in the mirror.

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