NSA’s PRISM: Causing More Problems for Phone Companies

Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, opposes a proposal requiring telecommunications companies like Verizon (NYSE:VZto store the call records of millions of U.S. residents because of its costs and complexities, Bloomberg reports.

No legislation has yet been introduced, but the telecommunications industry has begun lobbying both Congress and President Barack Obama, arguing that its members should not be required to keep information they no longer need. When the broader debate on curbing the National Security Agency’s powers begins next week, lawmakers are expected discuss how these records can be accessed and where they should be stored.

When former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed in June that he had passed top-secret documents to The Washington Post and The Guardian, he detailed classified U.S. surveillance programs including PRISM, which gave the NSA access to vast amounts of Internet data from large tech, telecommunications, and social media companies.  Snowden’s first leak showed that a secret court order forced Verizon to turn over metadata on the numbers called and the time and duration of calls for its United States customers.