The National Security Agency has supposedly ended its data collection of Americans’ phone records over the weekend. In its place will be a so-called ‘new, scaled-back system’ that has been in development over the last few months.
Under the law, the NSA and other law enforcement agencies are prohibited from collecting telephone-calling records in bulk to sniff out suspicious activity, a practice that was allowed under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act of 2001. Analysts must now get a court order to ask telecommunications companies to enable monitoring of call records for specific people or groups for a period of up to six months.
The new program came about as a part of the USA Freedom Act, which Congress passed at the end of May.