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Phone companies may have to change the way they help the NSA spy on you

NSA Spying Phone Data Collection

President Barack Obama is reportedly set to announce a number of changes to the various NSA spying programs that have come to light recently following a series of leaks orchestrated by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. While many of the changes will seemingly be intended to curb much of the public outcry over the various ways the NSA is seen invading the privacy of both citizens and noncitizens alike, some changes may stir up even more backlash.

According to a report from The Associated Press, U.S. telephone companies in particular are worried that they may have to change the way they collect and store phone records, and also hold onto customer data for longer than they already do. The changes may come at the insistence of the Obama administration, and they may involve shifting the burden of storing phone records for NSA analysis from the NSA’s own facilities to facilities that belong to the phone companies.

“Our members would oppose the imposition of data retention obligations that would require them to maintain customer data for longer than necessary,” said Jot Carpenter, vice president of government affairs for the CTIA, which represents the interests of wireless companies.

Telcos are worried that by agreeing to make the changes that may soon be proposed, they are exposing themselves to lawsuits and to increased operating costs associated with storing records for a longer period of time.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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