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Government Proposal to End NSA Phone Data Collection
Written by Jared Pelletier
Last updated on March 25, 2014 @ 7:36PM
Created on March 25, 2014 @ 6:39PM

The National Security Agency has been heavily criticized for some of its spy tactics. One technique in particular involves the government agency collecting phone records on billions of people worldwide.

On Tuesday, President Obama announced his administration has a new proposal that would end the NSA's ability to store phone data. A new law could prevent the NSA from keeping data, but that doesn't mean information isn't going to be collected by someone else.

Administration officials said communications companies are already required by law to hold on to phone records for 18 months. Instead of the NSA storing data on its own it would have to get it from businesses. If the NSA wanted to look at records, under the proposal, it would need permission from a judge.

The government agency currently stores records on millions of Americans for as long as five years. Many cell phone company executives have stated in the past that they're not in favor of having responsibility shifted towards them. Experts claim the NSA would still have plenty of access in legitimate situations.

Dr. Elizabeth Cohen is a communication studies professor at WVU. She said, "While they might not be shelving all of these phone records themselves if they need to they're still going to be able to go in through the private companies and ask to see them if they have a justification."

Some local residents are saying they'd prefer private companies hold on to phone records, but there are plenty of others who disagree.

"I think that if our cell phone companies looked over our cell phone records, versus the NSA, we would have more privacy," said Monongalia County resident Kyle Starliper.

Emily Ernest lives in Wood County. She said, "It feels safer with the government having control over that, but if they abuse their power then it's not right."

Many House leaders announced they're on board with NSA reform, but that doesn't mean everyone is on the same page.


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