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NSA to Continue Bulk Data Collection Regardless of Legal Changes

© Flickr / MJBNSA Headquarters Ft Meade Maryland
NSA Headquarters Ft Meade Maryland - Sputnik International
Former White House National Security Council advisor Gwenyth Todd claims that NSA will continue its mass surveillance practices despite changes to the legislation.

Surveillance cameras - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US National Security Agency (NSA) will continue its mass surveillance practices despite changes to the legislation, former White House National Security Council advisor Gwenyth Todd told Sputnik.

"The NSA and other western governments are going to continue collecting as much information as possible, regardless of legislation. They may have to find another source to point toward if they act upon information illegally obtained, but that is not difficult," Todd told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Todd emphasized that the real problem for governments is not the actual collection but how to process the vast quantities of collected data.

"There are not enough people alive to process all the information collected, even after it is categorized," she pointed out.

People agonize over the possibility their television is recording them, Todd added, "without considering that manhunts like the one ongoing in France demonstrate how difficult it is to separate useful information."

Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which allowed the NSA to intercept, collect and store US citizens' phone records, expired on June 1.

The provisions have since been replaced by the USA Freedom Act, which limits, but does not entirely bar, US intelligence agencies from bulk data collection. The authorities approved a 180-day transition period.

The USA Patriot Act was first signed into law by President George Bush in 2001 in the wake of September 11 terrorist attacks.

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