The U.S. National Security Agency is ready to end later this month collecting Americans’ domestic call records in bulk and move to a more targeted system, meeting a legislative deadline imposed earlier this year, according to a government memo seen by Reuters. The memo, sent on Monday from the NSA to relevant committees in the U.S. Congress, stated that the spy agency “has successfully developed a technical architecture to support the new program” in time for it to become operational as scheduled on Nov. 29. In stating the program’s progress and the NSA’s intent to use the new system, the memo appeared to rebut claims by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican security hawk, who told Reuters last week that he anticipated the new program would never be used because it was overly cumbersome and slow. Congress passed legislation earlier this year that brought an end to the NSA’s indiscriminate gathering of U.S. phone metadata, a practice exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden more than two years ago. The legislation, known as the USA Freedom Act, called for a six-month transition period after which the NSA could only access targeted data from telephone providers with judicial approval. […]
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