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NSA will collect bulk data for at least another 18 months

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President Barack Obama promised to Americans and their allies that there phones will be no more intercepted. A politician talking. In fact, bulk collection of data is a problem more complex than it seems.

Obama and supporters of his decision are based on the expiration of laws allowing the National Security Agency to collect data. It is Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act (Access to records and other items under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), which amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, that is the legal basis of the controversial activities of NSA. Regulations authorizing bulk collection of data will expire in June 2015.

So until that time, even if Obama hopes to solve this problem earlier, intending to devise a plan to March 28, there will be a close competition between supporters of the president, including part of Republicans and Democrats supporters of individual freedom, and supporters of extending the validity of that law, including the chairman of the House of Representatives and intelligence committees from US Senate.

Moreover, the law is also supported by telecommunication companies, because when NSA will no more be able to collect data they will be required to store that data for a long time, which would exceed their current capabilities.

Barack Obama recognizes the usefulness of these data in a crisis. With NSA metadata extracted from records, it is hoped to set up a global relational system, allowing swift action in extreme cases. But there are also many pessimists who do not believe in the effectiveness of this system.

For now, the debate on the extension or not of the law that allows bulk data collection took the form of a debate whether or not that law violates the constitutional rights of American citizens, and which is the best balance between individual rights and freedoms and the fight against terrorism.

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