Obama To Propose Ending NSA's Bulk Phone Data Collection

Under the proposal, phone companies would reportedly only be required to provide the records to the NSA under a court order.

Obama To Propose Ending NSA's Bulk Phone Data Collection
The White House / Pete Souza

It's been nearly 10 months since Edward Snowden first exposed the NSA was collecting troves of data on Americans' phone records. 

​Now, President Obama is expected to propose putting a stop to that once-secret program. (Via The White House

This, according to The New York Times. Citing unnamed administration officials, The Times reports phone companies "would not be required to retain the data for any longer than they normally would" under the new plan. (Via The New York Times

Instead of turning over data to the NSA, companies like Verizon and AT&T would hold on to it themselves, and only have to provide the records to the agency under a new type of court order. That data would include calls made to or from a suspected terrorist's phone number. (Via National Security Agency

Currently, the NSA can hold on to phone data for up to five years. Under the new proposal, agency could only keep the records for 18 months. 

A senior White House official described the plan to ABC as: “a sound approach to ensuring the government no longer collects or holds this data, but still ensures that the government has access to the information it needs...”

The proposal hardly comes as a surprise. Ending the NSA’s bulk phone data collection was one of the proposals set forward by the review board President Obama created in January tasked with coming up with alternatives to the NSA's intelligence-gathering practices. (Via The White House

​On Tuesday, members of the House Intelligence Committee are expected to present their own similar NSA reform bill. Both proposals will likely face an uphill battle in Congress.  (Via C-SPAN

And the phone companies have yet to weigh in. As ZDNet writes, "Toss in compliance costs for companies that have to cooperate with the NSA and you have a complicated brew. ​

​According to the The New York Times, President Obama will announce the NSA changes this Friday, which is when the court order originally authorizing the program expires.