The White House and Congressional leaders have unveiled similar proposals to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records. Both measures would leave bulk data in the hands of phone companies. Under the White House version, the NSA would seek court permission to obtain specific records. Under the House version, the NSA would seek court approval after a search. While the NSA currently retains bulk data for five years, phone companies would not have to keep it beyond 18 months. Speaking in the Netherlands, President Obama said the reforms are part of a process to win back the public’s trust.
President Obama: “There is a process that is taking place where we have to win back the trust, not just of governments but more importantly of ordinary citizens and that’s not going to happen overnight because I think that there is a tendency to be skeptical of government and to be skeptical in particular of U.S. intelligence services.”