Peace and Freedom

US President quietly abandons proposal to put NSA surveillance under non-government control

Barack Obama speaks about the National Security Agency from the Justice Department in Washington

Barack Obama speaks about the National Security Agency from the Justice Department in Washington Photo: REUTERS
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Reuters
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President Barack Obama’s administration has quietly abandoned a proposal it had been considering to put raw US telephone call data collected by the National Security Agency under non-governmental control.

Mr Obama promised changes in the government’s handling of such data in a speech a year ago after revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the extent of the agency’s electronic surveillance of Americans’ communications.

Under the proposal floated by a Presidential review panel, telephone call “metadata” generated inside the United States, which NSA began collecting in bulk after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, could instead be collected and retained by an unspecified private third party.

The Obama administration has decided, however, that the option of having a…

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