Communications Daily Features Partner Steven A. Augustino on USA Freedom Act
July 17, 2015

Partner Steven A. Augustino was featured in the Communication Daily article “Impact of USA Freedom on US Telecom Industry Unclear as NSA Program Winds Down.” The article covers a Telestrategies webinar, during which Mr. Augustino and other speakers discussed the USA Freedom Act. The new law ends the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata, but provides a continued role for telecom companies in fulfilling government surveillance requests. In reference to the Act’s data retention requirements, Mr. Augustino commented that, “telecom providers are subject to whatever rules they were previously subject to under the FCC and/or other regulatory regimes. If a provider isn’t subject to retention rules currently, it doesn’t have to retain any data for USA Freedom purposes.” He also commented that, “The FCC doesn’t have the ability to see the metadata, but the agency could dictate how long carriers must keep records and [in that way] expand what kind of access law enforcement has to the data in a records request.” He goes on to warn that, “providers must take care to ensure that when providing data to law enforcement, no more data than what was authorized is disclosed, with location information in particular scrubbed.”

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