At midnight, the NSA will no longer keep bulk records of telephone calls

At midnight, the NSA will no longer keep bulk records of telephone calls
At midnight tonight, something different will happen when you make a call. The NSA won't be collecting information about it as part of the bulk telephone records it was receiving from carriers. The information that the NSA will no longer automatically see, includes metadata like phone numbers and the length of calls.

From now on, carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint will hold on to that data, releasing it to the NSA only when the agency receives permission from a special court. The court will give out that permission on a case-by-case basis. And the government will have to keep a record of how often it asks for this data from U.S. carriers. The agency is asking for permission to keep the data it has already collected through February 29th, 2016, so that it can make sure that its new plans are working.

The USA Freedom Act was signed six months ago, and that law called for the NSA to stop collecting the bulk phone data. It also has been 30 months since whistle-blower Edward Snowden made the NSA's surveillance programs public. The you-know-what hit the fan when a top secret court order demanded that Verizon produce bulk call logs to the NSA.


The recent terror attacks in Paris have turned the NSA's phone surveillance powers into a political football. Certain Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie are among those who would like to see the agency regain its powers to collect bulk data on calls.

source: WSJ

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35 Comments

1. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

YOU USED TO CALL ME ON THE CELLPHONE...TILL THE NSA COMPROMISED IT

9. Bernoulli

Posts: 4360; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Who were you talking to? ISIS? I don't think that NSA is concerned about our sexual lives with others.

14. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

So nothing's changed basically. Someone ELSE is keeping the data FOR the NSA. Great...

27. Bernoulli

Posts: 4360; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Even then like seriously who cares.

28. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

Clearly, only the intelligent grown ups, who have some self respect and worth, do. Not you, darling so do go away.

29. Bernoulli

Posts: 4360; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Lol then keep worrying as you type this from your tracked device bahaha.

32. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

Keep 'baaaa-ing' like sheep.

33. Bernoulli

Posts: 4360; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Yep! I keep 'baaaang-ing' like sheep and rabbits! ;)

34. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

You are the definition of being 'blissfully ignorant'. Proud to be so, in your case.

35. Bernoulli

Posts: 4360; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

If it means me getting my nut on, whatever you say.

2. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

C'mon... You can't seriously think they're stopping... To believe that the govt isn't going to be data mining it's citizens anymore is just nieve. They're just doing it under some new secret Act that we haven't uncovered yet.

3. darkkjedii

Posts: 31020; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's what we think. The NSA will keep doing what they do, we just won't know as usual.

6. Busyboy

Posts: 731; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

It's the sad truth..

4. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Exactly...I have zero doubt that any government will never stop monitoring

5. Jason2k13

Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Some people need to relax, NSA does not care if you're watching porn or naughty videos.

7. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It's not if they are interested in what we do or not, it's that they have the ability to insinuate themselves into our private lives without warrant or our knowledge. If Snowden hadn't blown the whistle on world government activities, we wouldn't know anything about this, which is how those in power would prefer it. What my government (the US) has forgotten is that they are there to serve the people, not the other way around. I would also like to know if those politicians who are in favor of the NSA regaining their power would feel the same if they were subject to it's scrutiny.

22. willard12 unregistered

"They are there to serve the people", which also means taking action to prevent terrorist attacks. I'm really interested to know how the collection of metadata has impacted your life and privacy and whatbehaviorsmyou've changed to combat it. Has Snowden blowing the whistle caused you to throw away your smartphone, stay off the internet, stop posting on Phonearena? The NSA can find out a whole lot more info on people from what they hand over to Mark Zuckerberg voluntarily than what the get from metadata.

23. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So what you're saying is that we should let them do whatever they want in the name of protecting us? Because anyone with a brain knows that the more latitude you give them, the more they'll try and take. This mass collection of metadata wasn't simply targeting suspected terrorists, it was on many people that had nothing to do with the situation, they even admitted that. The difference is that I'm choosing to share things on the internet when I post. I and most of the other people who weren't targeted but had their data collected didn't give them permission to do so and a warrant in a public court wasn't issued for them to do so either. I'm sure they could also better protect us if they read every price of correspondence between all our citizens, would that also he okay with you? You'd be more secure. The point is, at what point are they going too far? If they had only targeted actual suspects or people related to them, then I wouldn't have a problem with it. But just casting a wide net to see what they catch is going beyond their power. There isn't a judge in any court that grants them that kind of power.

25. willard12 unregistered

You are incorrect. FISA court judges have been granting them that power after request to review the data through a search warrant. They approve the warrant requests at a 96% rate. Intelligence matters can't be handled in a public court, which is the purpose of a FISA court. Though the NSA received all the data, they only reviewed the data for people calling suspected terrorists after obtaining a warrant from a FISA judge. I imagine almost all of them end up being innocent. Each and every carrier has always collected and maintained metadata. Only difference now is a FISA court has to force them to turnover it over rather than it being turned over automatically....and 96% of the time, they will. But, there is a check and balance. If you think the NSA has the manpower to go through the metadata for 200 million US cell phone users in a "wide net" you are mistaken. So, some dude at Verizon has your data or some dude at the NSA has your data. Either way, it isn't private.

26. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

And you know for a fact they only went after the suspects because they said so. The NSA themselves don't have to go through the metadata personally, that's what their computers are for. But the fact of the matter is that there is no need for them to need a bunch of erroneous metadata from others who have no connection to this case. If people want to freely let their information out into the public, via the internet or social media, that's their right to do so. But you seem to be putting a lot of faith in people who you have no idea who they are or what they're capable of, and in the past have shown that they aren't the white knights you make them out to be. They know who they wanted to investigate, so why the need for that many unrelated people being included? You start out with the main suspects, and if there are others who made be involved, then you get search warrants for their metadata as well. You don't just start with a blanket warrant and then whittle it down, you start specifically and widen it as necessary. Freedom and privacy are much easier to relinquish than they are to achieve and maintain. The problem is by the time most people would say they're too far over the line, we may be past the point of going back. You may place full trust in the government, I do not. Even the founding Fathers said we should be wary of our government having too much power.

15. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

This attitude is the very reason why govts get away with invading and eroding our privacies and rights.

24. phonearenaviewer

Posts: 55; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Exactly. If it saves American's lives than they can monitor all they want.

31. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

However, the supreme law of this land states that they cannot monitor all they want, but only if they have probable cause for a specific, as opposed to a general, warrant. Anything else is the tyranny against which free men rose to found the United States of America.

8. toyboyz

Posts: 235; Member since: Jan 22, 2010

The best joke I've heard all day! Thanks for the laugh Phonearena.

10. Chuck007

Posts: 1410; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Yes and I promise I'd never drink Coke ever again.

11. Carl3000

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 11, 2014

PA should cha ge the title to "the NSA will no longer keep bulk records of telephone calls....officially".

12. Topcat488

Posts: 1415; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

Edward Snowden is a HERO. O.o

13. Plutonium239

Posts: 1212; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Edward Snowden is a traitor. He should have followed proper whistle blowing procedures that were in place, but instead he decided to flee to russia and trade away more state secrets to the Russians.

16. combatmedic870

Posts: 984; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Yep. If he would have just blown the whistle it would have been fine.

18. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

You really believe that crap don't you

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