Credit: National Security Agency
ABC News: NSA Can Access More Phone Data Than Ever
One of the reforms designed to rein in the surveillance authorities of the National Security Agency has perhaps inadvertently solved a technical problem for the spy outfit and granted it potential access to much more data than before, a former top official told ABC News.
Before the signing of the USA Freedom Act in June 2015, one of the NSA's most controversial programs was the mass collection of telephonic metadata from millions of Americans — the information about calls, including the telephone numbers involved, the time and the duration but not the calls' content — under a broad interpretation of the Patriot Act's Section 215. From this large "haystack," as officials have called it, NSA analysts could get approval to run queries on specific numbers purportedly linked to international terrorism investigations.
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WNU Editor: On a side note, why does the U.S. have three cyber defense agencies? .... The US Needs One Cyber Defense Agency—Not Three, a Top NSA Official Says (Defense One).