“We run the real risk of abuses of privacy,” Coates told Sputnik on Tuesday, with respect to the private telecommunications companies pooling of personal data.
On Tuesday evening, US President Barack Obama signed the USA Freedom Act into law putting it into effect. Under the new law, the US National Security Agency (NSA) must transfer its telephone metadata collection program into the hands of private telecommunications companies over the next six months.
Coats noted the 1,400 telephone companies also run the risk of being hacked. “The NSA has the ability to stop being hacked, a lot of these phone companies do not.”
In 2013, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the US government’s vast domestic spying infrastructure. According to documents leaked by Snowden, the NSA enlisted private telecom providers to hand over vast amounts of their customers’ data under the Stellar Wind program.