Proposed spy phone record shift draws resistance

Jan 14, 2014 by Stephen Braun

Telephone companies are quietly balking at the idea of changing how they collect and store Americans' phone records to help the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. They are worried about their exposure to lawsuits and the price tag if the U.S. government asks them to hold information about customers for longer than they already do.

President Barack Obama is expected to announce Friday what changes he is willing to make to the NSA's surveillance practices. His hand-picked review committee has recommended shifting the storage of the phone records from the NSA to or an unspecified third party, along with new legal requirements before the government could search anyone's phone records.

Phone companies don't want the job and say they would only accept changes if they were legally required.

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