Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together to support ending one of the National Security Agency’s more controversial surveillance programs. The call-detail records program, which collects metadata on every telephone call to, from, or within the US, would end under a bill introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R) of North Carolina and Sen. Mark Warner (D) of Virginia, the ranking members on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
According to senators, the program, begun in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, no longer effectively serves its intended purpose. The program was significantly changed after its existence was disclosed by Edward Snowden in 2013. The NSA has struggled to satisfy the new requirements of the program, ultimately suspending it in 2018 and purging all records collected since 2015.
The Trump administration has defended the program and called for its continuation. Despite this support, senators on the intelligence committee say that its current effectiveness does not justify the public relations and operational liabilities the program poses. Sen. Ron Wyden (D) of Oregon has announced that he will introduce a bill that would prohibit certain location-tracking surveillance activities and require more transparency from intelligence agencies.
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