Rep. Schiff Applauds Administration Decision to End Bulk Collection, Require Court Approval Prior to Seeking Telephone Metadata From ProvidersTuesday March 25, 2014
Washington, DC –Today, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), a senior Member of the House Intelligence Committee, commended the Administration for taking another important step to fulfill the promises made by the President in his speech earlier this year to reform the metadata program. Responding to reports that the White House will soon end bulk collection and allow the carriers to retain their own data, Schiff stated:
"The decision by the White House that they will transition away from bulk collection of phone records and go to a model where prior court approval is required before seeking metadata from telephone companies is a very important step forward for reform. This model is far more protective of the privacy interests of the American people and will still allow the intelligence agencies to gather the vital information they need to protect the public."
The Administration proposal appears to closely track legislation Rep. Schiff introduced in January, the Telephone Metadata Reform Act, which allows the government to query the data held by phone companies based on a judicially approved order, absent exigency, specific to that phone number or "selector." Rep. Schiff also commended House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger for their decision to introduce legislation ending the bulk collection of metadata:
"I applaud the decision by Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger to end bulk collection and their thoughtful work on a new reform proposal. I look forward to working with them to ensure timely court approval of requests for metadata, and a vigorous adversarial process before the FISA court.”