Good news everyone: The NSA no longer wants to collect your phone calls and text messages. Apparently.
Despite once being all-in on its electronic spying program, the National Security Agency now supposedly wants to abandon its mass data collection practices.
A new report by the Wall Street Journal claims that:
“The National Security Agency has recommended that the White House abandon a U.S. surveillance program that collects information about Americans’ phone calls and text messages. The latest view is rooted in a growing belief among senior intelligence officials that the spying program provides limited value to national security and has become a logistical headache.”
The report continues that the NSA stoped relying on its phone-spying program earlier this year. Legal and compliance issues are two of the reasons being cited for abandoning it. The program will come up for renewal later this year. It’s not clear whether the request to stop the program will be heeded by the U.S. government.
Changing its ways?
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that the NSA may be changing its ways. A report from last month claimed something very similar. Luke Murry, national security adviser to House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, said that the NSA “hasn’t actually been using it for the past six months,” according to The New York Times.
Apple has long fought on the side of enhanced security for citizens. This is seen most strongly through its strong encryption practices. These wound up with Apple having a privacy standoff with the FBI. Apple has also leant its new to campaigns focused on surveillance reform.
Of course, any suggestion that the government will stop surveilling its own citizens should be treated with some skepticism. In the past, senior officials have said that they see no viable alternative to this. The existing domestic surveillance was passed by Congress in 2015.