The US President Barack Obama ordered curbs on the use of bulk data collected by National Security Agency (NSA) on 17 January 2014. The ban will cover all the data related to the leaders of close friends and allies of the US and the records of American.
The main highlights of the Obama’s order are:
• NSA will be required to get a secretive courts’ permission before accessing phone records that are collected from hundreds of millions of Americans.
• Government will not hold the bulk telephone metadata and will take steps to modify the programme so that a judicial finding is required before the database is queried.
• Communication providers would be allowed to share more information with the public about government requests for data.
• The US will not monitor the communications of its close friends and allies overseas unless there is a compelling national security purpose.
• Foreigners will get some protection against spying that US citizens enjoy.
The order curbing NSA powers came following worldwide criticism of US policy of snooping the records of top leaders of the world including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Further in December 2013, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that the NSA's bulk collection program appeared to violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, but he didn't issue a preliminary injunction against unreasonable searches because of expected appeals.