Udall: I pushed Obama to halt U.S. data collections

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said he “really pushed” President Barack Obama to halt the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records in a meeting Thursday at the White House.

Obama met with several congressional leaders as he considers what to do with recommendations from a panel he appointed.

The bulk collection of phone records, Udall said, “is not effective and it violates privacy” while undercutting confidence in the nation’s intelligence community.

It’s possible, however, to make the program, justified under a White House interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act,  workable without violating Americans’ rights, Udall said.

“I can’t characterize what (Obama) had to say” in response, Udall said, but the president did suggest he would address the issue in “the near future.”

Courts have split on the issue of bulk data collection. A federal judge last month in New York ruled it legal, shortly after a federal judge in Washington said the program was likely unconstitutional and “almost Orwellian.”


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