Obama proposes NSA limit on phone data collection

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

NSA meeting
President Barack Obama having a meeting with his national security staff.

Last year, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked top secret government documents to the public, including some about an NSA program that collects data on personal phone conversations. American citizens and international allies like Germany weren’t pleased to discover their private communications being monitored, and the USA’s government has been facing mega public pressure to change. President Barack Obama has now responded by drafting a new law that would limit the NSA’s power.

Currently, the NSA has the power to collect phone data from large companies and keep it for 5 whole years, even if the people they’re checking into haven’t done anything wrong.

The idea behind this is that they can track all the conversations and see who’s exchanging words with suspected terrorists, or planning to harm America somehow. Obama is currently planning to keep this system alive only for 90 days before he replaces it with his proposed version.

Under the new plan, the NSA will have to give up any records they have in their possession and allow phone companies to keep all the data of their customers private. The only way the agency would be able to access the information is if they have strong evidence to suspect someone of terrorism. Even then, the NSA would need permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a watchdog group responsible for overseeing activities from law enforcement agencies.

It’s important to keep in mind that this new plan doesn’t abolish the activities completely. In fact, Obama wants to keep as much of the program alive as possible for national security, but at least citizens can relax a bit knowing that they’ll be left alone if they’re innocent

Images courtesy of the White House.