The Senate Intelligence Committee is going to offer a bill that will nominally “limit” NSA collection of Americans’ phone records, offering a time limit for how long the data should be kept, but keeping the process otherwise intact.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA), an outspoken advocate of the surveillance programs, dubbed the bill a “change but preserve” bill, that would not stop the bulk collection of Americans’ data.
The pro-surveillance leadership all seems on board with this, but other senators are pushing more ambitious plans aimed at ending bulk surveillance in general, though they are facing major opposition from the administration.
NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander insisted that the nation needs to collect all phone records as a matter of course, while James Clapper argued that even if they didn’t catch actual imminent threats it was worth spying on Americans just for “peace of mind.”
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