Administration Seeks Reauthorization of NSA Phone Record Program
August 16, 2019
The Administration is seeking reauthorization of the NSA phone record collection program, according to a letter from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats published by the New York Times. The Patriot Act "Section 215" program originally allowed the bulk collection of all telephone records of Americans. In 2013, following the Snowden disclosures, EPIC filed a petition with the Supreme Court, challenging the lawfulness of the bulk collection program. Congress then held extensive hearings which found the program was ineffective and later passed the USA Freedom Act, which limited the data collection. NSA has since acknowledged significant compliance problems with the Freedom Act, and the Coats letter confirms that the program was subsequently suspended. EPIC has joined civil liberties organizations in calling for a permanent end to the NSA's phone record collection program.