January 14, 2014
Grassley asks Morrell about an op-ed he wrote last month describing how bulk phone data collection could be useful in preventing terrorism.
Morrell says he wrote the op-ed to clarify that the panel had not recommended ending 215, bulk phone data collection, but changing the way it works. “The program only has to be successful once to be invaluable,” he says.
There is value in a negative query of the 215 data, Morrell says. If you pick up chatter by a foreign terrorist planning an attack, he says, it’s important to be able to query the database to ensure there is no US nexus.