Have you been worrying lately about the NSA listening in on your calls?
A recent push to reform NSA surveillance might ease your mind... maybe? Just a little bit?
After promising to review intelligence-gathering practices in January, President Obama offered a plan to reign in the NSA by abandoning the practice of bulk phone data collection.
The reforms would require congressional approval. That is because these reforms basically modify sections of the USA Patriot Act, which was hastily passed in the wake of 9/11. This controversial law laid the groundwork for the NSA's bulk data collection programs.
Passage of the administration's plan would mean that caller data — who you called and when you called them — would remain with the phone companies instead of with the NSA.
The NSA would have to make inquiries for specific phone numbers and obtain permission from a judge. Meanwhile, phone companies would not be required to hold onto records longer than the 18 months already required by federal regulations.
In general, the White House proposal was received by civil liberties advocates with cautious optimism. The plan is silent on the issue of internet communications, arguably more important than phones in the digital era.
Feel better yet? No? Yeah, figures.
We didn't even tell you about all of the [REDACTED].