WASHINGTON (AP) - Three years ago, the Senate Intelligence Committee secretly considered -but ultimately rejected - alternate ways for the National Security Agency to collect and store massive amounts of Americans' phone records.
Two government officials say the options were outlined in a classified NSA analysis and reviewed during closed committee meetings. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the secret report.
The officials say one of those options was similar to what President Barack Obama is now advocating: The government would stop the bulk collection of Americans' phone records and instead ask phone companies to search their own business records for terrorism connections.
But after much debate, the Senate overseers decided not move forward with any alternative arrangement.