The National Security Agency is officially shutting down one of its largest spying programs this weekend in agreement with a new bill called the USA Freedom Act.
The act is aimed at eliminating bulk phone metadata collection by the NSA, and while it passed Congress in June, the program went through a 180-day transition period. That period ends at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28.
New laws will now require the NSA and other government agencies to get a court order to be able to collect information and phone records for people that the agency deems suspicious.
It’s important to note, however, that the NSA won’t immediately be deleting all the data it has gathered so far. According to a report from Reuters, data collected by the NSA over the past five years will be retained through Feb. 29, 2016. After that, however, the NSA will have to purge all historic records.
While the end of this program is certainly good news for privacy advocates and the general public, it really is only a small change that took way too long to implement. Not only that, but there are plenty of lawmakers who want to continue the bulk collection of data through at least 2017, with lawmakers citing the Paris terrorist attacks as a reason for doing so. Despite this, new surveillance measures are unlikely to go into effect before the November 2016 presidential elections.