The latest in the NSA'S endless phone data collection saga comes from the phone companies themselves, who say they are opposed to a government recommendation that they, rather than the NSA, be tasked with hanging on to users' metadata.
The suggestion, which came down from President Obama's NSA reform advisory panel, would mean that the NSA be able to access the data via the phone companies only after obtaining permission from the courts. But the recommendation is ill-advised and would be difficult, expensive, and dangerous to adopt, according to a Washington Post report citing phone company insiders.
"We don't want to keep these records," one unnamed industry executive told the newspaper. "We end up with all sorts of litigation risks, privacy risks, hacking vulnerabilities. There is a huge cost involved in just protecting them. And truthfully, we just don't want to do it."
"We've always thought it was a bad idea," added another industry insider. "What I find perplexing about this is privacy advocates don't like the idea, the intelligence community doesn't like the idea, and the carriers don't like the idea. So it's not clear whether you are solving a problem or making the problem worse."