NSA Ceases Collecting Phone Data in Bulk
The National Security Agency is no longer sucking in all the data generated by Americans' phone calls. The NSA was required to shut down its surveillance program by the end of the day Nov. 28. The program, first brought to light by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, allowed the agency to collect phone call metadata in bulk in the hope that law enforcement could draw connections between suspected criminals. Privacy advocates charged the program was invasive and overreaching, as it collected data from all Americans, rather than just those being targeted. The NSA has put a smaller replacement program in place that is defined by the Freedom Act, passed earlier this year. Moving forward, the NSA needs a court order to seek call records from telecommunications companies, and those requests need to be confined to specific people or groups. The data already collected by the NSA will be maintained until Feb. 29, 2016, after which it will be deleted.
AT&T Key Partner in NSA Spying
AT&T is being called a "highly collaborative" partner of the NSA, and showed the government agency an "extreme willingness to help" spy on Americans, suggests a new report published by the New York Times. The Times based its report on documents supplied by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who first revealed the government's mass-scale spying efforts two years ago.
NSA Given Permission to Spy On Calls Again
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court this week gave the NSA permission to resume spying on Americans' phone calls for a period of 180 days. In June, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act, which put an end to the bulk phone data collection.
Senate Passes USA Freedom Act
The Senate today passed the USA Freedom Act, which moves to curtail how the NSA collects and stores American call records. The Patriot Act expired on Sunday and with it the NSA's authority to collect call records en masse.
Patriot Act Expires, NSA Phone Data Collection Ends
The Patriot Act expired today and with it the NSA's authority to collect Americans' phone records in bulk. Members of the Senate deliberated over the Act furiously on Sunday as some wanted to extend its powers and others wanted to kill it altogether.
3GPP Ratifies Initial Specification for 5G
The 3GPP today ratified the first 5G specification, officially termed Non-Standalone 5G New Radio, or NSA 5G NR. The ratification took place at the 3GPP's RAN#78 meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, and capped off months of conferences to push the spec through before year's end.