U.S. phone companies escape new data storage mandate in surveillance bill

Reuters: The U.S. government will rely on phone companies to keep data on customers once the USA Freedom Act is signed into law, but the bill avoids companies’ main concern: it does not force them to change how they collect and store data.

The bill, passed by the Senate late on Tuesday and expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama, stops the government’s practice of routinely scooping up telephone metadata — dialed numbers and call lengths but not the content — from companies in bulk.

Instead, the National Security Agency and others in the U.S. intelligence community would have to request more targeted data from companies with a court order.

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