US NSA spy program ends, could impact Israeli anti-terror efforts

The debate in the US over how much the National Security Agency should spy on American’s telephone records and other data entered a new phase midnight on Sunday when the legal authority for the controversial programs ended.


Obama administration and top US intelligence officials have warned that allowing such a lapse could endanger their ability to protect the country’s national security. The lapse may signal a shift in Americans’ attitudes toward fighting terrorism that could indirectly hurt Israeli efforts to combat the scourge.


Critics of the now defunct NSA spy program had said it had gone much too far in violating privacy rights and civil liberties, that the checks on abuse of the spying powers were ineffective and that the program had not racked up sufficient successes to justify its wide reach.


Despite the drama of the program ending, virtually all American officials expect a new, more moderate, version to pass within days since it has passed initial votes in both houses of Congress and has firm support from the US president.


The Freedom Act would end spy agencies’ bulk collection of domestic telephone “metadata” and replace it with a more targeted system.


Read More: US NSA spy program ends, could impact Israeli anti-terror efforts – Israel News – Jerusalem Post