White House expects timely NSA reform

Jan. 22, 2014 at 4:35 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The White House said U.S. President Obama expects national security reform "in the time line he's set," despite a report officials doubt it can be done in time.

Citing individuals it said were familiar with discussions on reform of personal data collection, the Washington Post reported Wednesday officials the president ordered to identify a way to end government collection of telephone data doubt there is a way to get that done.

Telephone companies say they don't want the responsibility for maintaining the intelligence database, and in the absence of a third party that might control records, one of the Post's sources said it was "unlikely, if not impossible" that the problem will be resolved within the two-month time frame the president called for last week when he announced changes in the surveillance program.

"It is not at all inconceivable that the bulk collection program will stay the same, with the records held by the government until 2015," the official said.

Authority for wholesale data collection is scheduled to expire in 2015.

"There's work that's been done on this issue, broadly speaking, so people aren't starting from scratch," press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday at the daily White House news briefing. "It's a complicated piece of business, but the president expects that action can be taken in the time line he's set."

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