Small Wars Journal

NSA Has Halted a Counterterrorism Program Relying on Phone Records Amid Doubts About its Utility

NSA Has Halted a Counterterrorism Program Relying on Phone Records Amid Doubts About its Utility by Ellen Nakashima – Washington Post

The National Security Agency has halted a counterterrorism program that relied on U.S. telecom carriers to turn over records of domestic calls and text messages so analysts could scrutinize them for clues, according to individuals familiar with the matter and a senior GOP congressional aide.

 

The agency had begun scaling back the program last year amid doubts about its overall utility, according to the individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.

 

The NSA “actually hasn’t been using it for the past six months because of problems with the way in which that information has been collected,” said Luke Murry, national security adviser to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), on a Lawfare podcast on Saturday.

 

That raises questions about whether the Trump administration will seek to reauthorize the program when it expires at the end of this year. “I’m not actually certain that the administration will want to start that back up given where they have been in the past six months,” Murry said on the podcast…

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