Obama Backs Ending NSA Phone Database, Having Phone Companies Take Lead


President Obama will endorse a plan to end the National Security Agency's collection of a huge amount of data on U.S. phone calls to search for evidence of terrorist plots, swapping that system for one in which telephone companies retain the data, Politico reports. The new program would do away with the database the NSA uses to store information on five years' worth of phone calls made to, from and within the U.S. and have the telecommunications firms store call data for 18 months in line with current federal regulations.

Word of the administration proposal, first reported by the New York Times, came a day before bipartisan leaders of the House Intelligence Committee were set to unveil legislation laying out a similar plan and a few days before the Friday deadline Obama had set for Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to deliver a proposal to get the spy agency out of the controversial business of bulk collection of U.S. phone data.

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