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Chad’s Morning Brief: White House Plan to End NSA Bulk Collection of Americans’ Phone Data, Rick Perry Wants Tesla in Texas, and Other Top Stories

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 25, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Win McNamee, Getty Images

 

NSA Data

According to the Washington Post, the Obama Administration is working on legislation that would end the NSA’s collection of Americans’ phone data.

The legislation, senior officials say, would allow data about phone calls made to and from Americans to be kept with the phone companies. The companies would not be required to hold the data longer than they normally would.

The effort comes as the administration is up against a deadline set by President Obama in January, when he directed his subordinates to find a way to end the government’s mass collection of phone data, a program that has stirred controversy since it was revealed through a leak to the news media in June. He gave them until Friday to come up with options.

The proposal, which is still being worked on, would require phone companies to provide data about suspected terrorist numbers under a court order, officials said. It would include making available on a real-time, ongoing basis data about any new calls made to or from the suspect’s number after the order is served — an idea embraced by NSA leaders, officials said.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees the program, would have to approve each number as having likely ties to a suspected terrorist or terrorist group.

The effort, first reported by the New York Times, is not surprising in that the number of options was limited. And any option would probably require legislative approval.

Officials said the administration has decided to renew the current program for at least one more 90-day cycle. The current orders expire Friday. Under the program, the government collects telephone numbers and call times and dates, but not call content.

The administration effort comes as the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee have drafted a bipartisan bill that would also end the NSA’s mass gathering of data. Their measure, to be introduced Tuesday, would also keep the records at the phone companies.

But some privacy advocates are already expressing opposition to the proposal.

The House bill would reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to make clear that the government can no longer collect any form of electronic communication in bulk, said its sponsors, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the committee’s chairman, and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.), its ranking Democrat.

“We believe this can be the solution for those of us who want to preserve important national security capabilities while heeding the legitimate concerns of many that the collection of bulk telephone metadata has a potential for abuse,” said Rogers, who has staunchly defended the NSA’s bulk-collection authority.

Ruppersberger, whose district includes the NSA’s Fort Meade headquarters, said, “The most important thing is getting the public’s confidence that their government is out there protecting them against terrorist attacks” while respecting privacy and increasing transparency.

The bill, according to congressional aides, would bar the mass collection of different types of information, including phone call records and records of Internet activity. It also covers location information, aides said.

It, too, would not require telecommunication companies to retain data for longer than they do now. And it would require that the government serve a directive on a company that is being asked for data.

But unlike other pending legislation, it does not call for judicial approval of a specific phone number before a request for data is submitted to a company.

Thoughts?

Perry Wants Tesla

Texas Governor Rick Perry was on FOX Business yesterday and according to the Dallas Morning News said that Texas should allow for car manufacturers to sell directly to the public.

In the hopes of landing that $5-billion Tesla factory, Arizona lawmakers are itching to kill off legislation that keeps car-makers from selling directly to the public. On FOX Business today, Gov. Rick Perry suggested the great state of Texas needs to do the same thing and at least try to vanish those “antiquated” rules, lest it see 6,500 new jobs go elsewhere.

“Tesla’s a big project,” Perry told Maria Bartiromo. “The cachet of being able to say we put that manufacturing facility in your state is hard to pass up.”

Tesla has two “galleries” in the state, in Houston and Austin, and a third’s about to pull into NorthPark Center. But they’re more or less just ads for the electric car: State law prohits Tesla from being able to talk about pricing or purchasing options, and you sure can’t test-drive one. “People are forced to leave the gallery frustrated,” says the company’s website, “lacking sufficient information about the car and the brand.”

Said Perry, it’s in the “best interest” of Texans to revisit those rules — or, he said, what “some would say are antiquated protections … for the car dealers. The people of Texas will say, We don’t need to be protected. We like to be able to negotiate straight away.’”

He’s asking state lawmakers to have a “very open, thoughtful conversation about do we want to lead the country when it comes to manufacturing.” Because, look, said Perry, “the world’s changed.” And there’s a $5-billion manufacturing plant at risk going to one of three other states: Arizona, New Mexico or California. And you know how the governor feels about stuff going to California.

“I think it’s time for Texans to have an open conversation about this, the pros and the cons,” he said. “I’m gonna think the pros of allowing this to happen outweigh the cons.”

Lee Chapman, president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan New Car Dealers Association, said the association “respectfully disagrees” with the governor.

“The system we have was put into effect by the state to protect consumers and dealers,” Chapman said.

Dealers are “always open to discussion,” Chapman said.

“But at this point, we have not been given anything to discuss other than the right to sell cars here in exchange for a plant,” he said.

Other Top Stories:

Supreme Court Takes Up Obamacare Contraceptive Mandate

Burnam Challenges Loss in Dem. Primary

Scott Walker Cuts Taxes by $504 Million 

Eleven Hate Crime Hoaxes

Are Term Limits for State Lawmakers Good? 

Bag Ban in Dallas? 

Clinton Still Undecided on 2016

The Overprotected Kid 

Paul Ryan’s Critics Are in Denial

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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