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White House proposal would end NSA’s collection of Americans’ phone data




U.S. President Barack Obama gives a statement on the situation in the Ukraine in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on March 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. The U.S. and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Russian and Ukraine officials in response to their actions that supported the referendum for Crimean separation. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama gives a statement on the situation in the Ukraine in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on March 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. The U.S. and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Russian and Ukraine officials in response to their actions that supported the referendum for Crimean separation. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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A new proposal by the Obama administration would end the National Security Agency's widespread collection of Americans' phone data, as reported first by the New York Times.

If approved by Congress,  the legislation would end the program as it is and leave phone data in the hands of phone companies. The phone companies would not be required to keep records longer than the 18 months federal regulations already require.

The NSA would still be able to access phone data, but only after approval by judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Once given the green light, the data for a particular number would be available to NSA officials on in realtime.

The program would still only collect telephone numbers, call times and dates, not the content of the calls.

Is this change sufficient enough to ease American's anxieties about NSA data collection? Does this change hamper the government's ability to keep the U.S. safe? Should the program be scrapped altogether? Is this a step in the right direction?

Guests:

Rep. Adam Schiff, Democratic Congressman representing the 29th District, which include Atwater Village, Burbank and West Hollywood

Robert Turner, Associate Director of the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia