President Obama wants to end the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk collection of records about Americans’ phone calls, according to the New York Times.

The newspaper reported late on Monday that Obama’s planned legislative proposal, expected to be announced in coming days, would move the controversial phone records database out of the spy agency’s hands. Instead, the records would remain with the phone companies, and government agents would be able to obtain information about specific phone numbers with an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The plan would reportedly not require phone companies to keep the records beyond the 18 months that federal rules already require. Telecommunications companies and privacy advocates have resisted the suggestion of a mandate to hold records for up to five years, as the NSA currently does.

A senior administration official told The Hill in an emailed statement that the president is planning to “put forward a sound approach to ensuring the government no longer collects or holds this data, but still ensures that the government has access to the information it needs to meet the national security needs his team has identified.”

A White House spokesman declined comment Monday on the reported plans.
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