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November 30, 2015

US NSA stops bulk phone snooping

News: Officials need court order to track records.

By CBR Staff Writer

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has put an end to the collection of citizen phone records, but has, however, replaced the method with a targeted surveillance system.

As per the Freedom Act, the NSA will not be allowed to spy on telephone calls made by Americans to find out suspicious or illegal activities.

Until now, the NSA collected ‘metadata’, which gave information on the numbers that were being called from the US and the time when the calls were placed.

However, metadata could not expose the content of the call.

The NSA came under fire when one of its contractors Edward Snowden exposed details about the programme, following which privacy advocates raised their voice against the system and the Freedom Act was passed on 2nd June this year.

As per the new rule officials will have to get a court order in order to gather call records from telecom companies on specific people or groups for up to six months.

Privacy advocates have welcomed the decision as they believe that the new rule will allow the watchdog to analyse cell phone records, and civil liberties of Americans.

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However, a few Republican lawmakers are not happy about the decision made by the Obama administration as they want to preserve bulk collection until 2017, reported Reuters.

Republican lawmakers believe that it is important to stick to the old rules citing the Nov. 13 Paris attacks where 130 lost their lives.

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