WASHINGTON (WJZ)–The deadline is looming– in little more than a week, the NSA’s surveillance program is set to expire.
Since 9/11, Americans’ phone records have been collected to fight terrorism, but some say that’s an invasion of their privacy!
Christie Ileto has the details.
The program was recently ruled illegal by a top federal judge–a the question at the heart of it all is what crosses the line between security and privacy?
Time is ticking for the NSA’s spy program that could go dark by the end of the month.
“We run the risk of essentially being less safe,” said U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Lynch speaks candidly to CBS This Morning about the threat of losing surveillance powers protected by the Patriot Act.
Details of a program that went unknown until former Maryland NSA Contractor, Edward Snowden, leaked classified documents revealing the feds had secretly collected millions of private U.S. phone calls.
Ileto: “What really is the program in sum?
“It’s not listening to anybody, there’s nobody’s name, address– just strictly a phone number and duration of a call,” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger.
Congressman Ruppersberger is pushing to rein in the spy program by doing away with ‘bulk collection’ and shifting the responsibility of holding phone data from the feds to the phone companies.
“Our intelligence communities have no mission at all to listen on in them unless its a court order,” Ruppersberger says.
The program has long been steeped in controversy mainly because critics call the bulk collection excessive and invasive.
“Every call you make, the number you called, when you spoke to them it tells a lot about your life. The government having this type of information on citizens who’ve done thing wrong is simply unacceptable,” said Neema Guiliani, ACLU.
Still lawmakers are scrambling to make a decision as the controversial spy program hangs in the balance.
The House has already passed a bill to end the phone collection program while the Senate is still split, and that’s what’s causing the delay.
If Congress doesn’t act, NSA will have to dismantle it’s program immediately.