Obama Signs Law Ending NSA Collection of Phone Calls
U.S. President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill ending the government's massive collection of telephone call data intended to prevent terrorist attacks.
Mr. Obama said the new rules protect both civil liberties and national security.
Earlier Tuesday, the Senate passed the bill 67-32. The House of Representatives had previously approved it.
Under the new rules, U.S. telephone companies and not the super-secret National Security Agency will collect and hold on to the phone call records of American citizens. Federal investigators would then need a court order to examine those records if they suspect anyone of contacting known or suspected terrorists.
The government began keeping records of telephone numbers, but not the content of those calls, just after the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Critics said the program was a government invasion of privacy because of the millions of Americans whose calls were scrutinized, but who had no connection to terrorism.
The government's authority to spy on phone calls expired this week. The new rules are a compromise even though lawmakers from both parties say the new system will be less secure and takes a major tool in fighting terrorism away from federal authorities.
South Korea Tests Missiles That Can Hit 'Any Target' In North Korea
South Korea says it has tested a ballistic missile capable of hitting any target in North Korea, in what is seen as a response to recent military provocations by Pyongyang.
Seoul defense officials say President Park Geun-hye personally watched over the successful launch Wednesday at a firing range in the southern part of South Korea.
The missile has a range of 500 kilometers and can hit anywhere in North Korea, according to the officials, who add the technology will be deployed by the end of the year.
The weapon was developed by Seoul following a 2012 agreement with the U.S. that nearly tripled the allowable maximum range of the South's ballistic missiles.
South Korea has expanded its ballistic missile arsenal in response to the growing threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
North Korea recently said it conducted a successful submarine-launched ballistic missile test, which would greatly extend the range of the North's ballistic missiles.
Pyongyang also said last month that it has perfected the technology needed to mount a miniaturized nuclear warhead on a long-range ballistic missile.
A significant number of foreign and military analysts have said those claims are likely exaggerated, but warn that Pyongyang is making progress on both fronts.