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We have no evidence of any breach and, like most networks, our team took immediate action to fix the issue.

But this…

Obama's NSA overhaul may require phone carriers to store more data


President Barack Obama’s plan for overhauling the National Security Agency’s phone surveillance program could force carriers to collect and store customer data that they are not now legally obliged to keep, according to U.S. officials.

One complication arises from the popularity of flat-rate or unlimited calling plans, which are used by the vast majority of Americans.

While the Federal Communications Commission requires phone companies to retain for 18 months records on “toll” or long-distance calls, the rule’s application is vague for subscribers of unlimited phone plans because they do not get billed for individual calls.

That could change if the Obama administration pushes through with a proposal to require carriers - instead of the NSA - to collect and store phone metadata, which includes dialed numbers and call lengths but not the content of conversations. Under the administration’s proposal, the phone companies would be required to turn over the data to the NSA in response to a court-approved government request.

U.S. officials said the carriers might be forced to create new mechanisms to ensure that metadata from flat-rate subscribers could be monitored. They said these issues will require further discussion between the White House, Congress and industry.

"These are very complex systems," said one industry source familiar with data storage policies. "I doubt there are companies out there that have a nice, neat, single database that can tell you how long records are kept universally."

To great fanfare last month, the Obama administration unveiled a proposal to end the NSA’s bulk collection of millions of records of phone calls. But the announcement glossed over key practical issues in implementing the new procedures.

The potential gap in records for flat-rate subscribers, as well as the telecommunications companies’ strong opposition to onerous data retention requirements, underscores the still-fluid nature of the NSA reforms.

"We applaud these proposals to end Section 215 bulk collection, but feel that it is critical to get the details of this important effort right," Verizon Communications Inc General Counsel Randal Milch said in a blog post last week, referring to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the law that authorized the NSA program.

"At this early point in the process, we propose this basic principle that should guide the effort: the reformed collection process should not require companies to store data for longer than, or in formats that differ from, what they already do for business purposes,” Milch wrote.

Obama’s proposal, whose full details have yet to be formally released, is a response to public outcry over revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the spy agency’s bulk collection of phone records.

A senior Obama administration official said: “As questions arise with respect to the proposal, we look forward to working through them with Congress and relevant stakeholders.”


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