The fact that the National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting data about Americans’ phone calls is no longer a secret, but according to The Washington Post, the programs will stop doing this starting with Sunday.
Everything started when Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor, forced the U.S. government to confirm this department’s existence.
The Congress is behind this
This comes as a decision of the Congress, which passed the USA Freedom Act back in June and banned the NSA from collecting information known as metadata. The latter includes dates and duration of phone calls, alongside logs of call times. Still, the content of the calls wasn’t stored.
After the new law, the NSA needs to obtain a court order to receive records about specific phone numbers suspected of belonging to terrorism suspects, as stated by The Washington Post.
The program made its debut 14 years ago, when George W. Bush was at the White House. Since 2013, everything was a secret, but when Edward Snowden leaked a court order showing that the NSA was collection all call details records about Verizon’s customers, everybody acknowledged about the existence of this agency.
As you probably know, this reveal started a contentious two-year debate about the main reasons why government surveillance is done.
The president wanted to end metadata collecting by the NSA
President Barack Obama called on the Congress in January 2014, in order to come up with a solution to end the bulking collection of phone metadata by the NSA. Mr. Obama claimed that even though he had seen no evidence of abuses done by the agency, the program lessened the citizens’ trust in the U.S. government.
Finally, the NSA will preserve phone records only or legal obligations and not for other purposes. After the legal obligations end, the agency will destroy all its phone data collection.