Obama to Call for End to NSA Bulk Data Collection

Mar 24, 2014 11:12pm

President Obama is poised to call for an end to the controversial bulk data collection of phone records by the NSA, senior administration officials confirm to ABC News.

The White House will outline proposed legislation this week that would bring sweeping changes to the National Security Agency’s controversial data collection program.

A senior administration official describes the proposal to ABC News as “a sound approach to ensuring the government no longer collects or holds this data, but still ensures that the government has access to the information it needs to meet the national security needs his team has identified.”

Two officials confirmed to ABC News the plan, which was reported earlier tonight by the New York Times. It calls for phone companies to keep phone records, rather than having the data kept by the NSA. The government could obtain the data only under a judge’s order.

Senior Congressional officials say this is part of a legislative proposal that will be outlined as soon as Tuesday, before the court order that created the current program expires on Friday.

This requires Congressional approval. The current program will be renewed, an official said, until this legislation is passed.

“As the President made clear in his speech on these issues in January, he directed his administration to explore all options available for ending the government’s role in holding this metadata while still maintaining as many capabilities of the program as possible,” a senior administration official told ABC News.

“The President considered those options and in the coming days, after concluding ongoing consultations with Congress, including the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, will put forward a sound approach to ensuring the government no longer collects or holds this data,” the official said, “but still ensures that the government has access to the information it needs to meet the national security needs his team has identified.”

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