The USA Freedom Act requires more specific requests for metadata and a court order or specific warrant for information. Previously, the National Security Agency kept data in bulk regardless of those involved.
Cries for reform came as Edward Snowden revealed details of the NSA’s inner-workings. Congress passed the USA Freedom Act to reform and restrict the NSA’s powers.
The intelligence community said in an online post that the new approach would be “focused and targeted.”
The metadata is the time the phone call occurred, to whom, and for how long.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a largely secretive court that deals with the NSA, is weighing a request from the NSA to allow the agency to access the historical bulk metadata until February 28, 2016. The agency says the intent is merely technical and to ensure the new system is working.