The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Tech: NSA to purge phone records cache; Planned Parenthood site under attack

The Obama administration announced that the National Security Agency will purge phone records collected under its expiring bulk surveillance program by the beginning of next year. “The decision comes as a victory for privacy advocates, who worried that the winding down of the mass surveillance program under a reform law enacted earlier this year could have allowed the NSA to continue to access phone records it already had collected,” National Journal’s Dustin Volz reported. “The phone dragnet was the first and most controversial program exposed by Edward Snowden two years ago … It is unclear if there may be any exceptions to the data purging, or if any records could potentially be preserved in another government agency.”

ON THE DEFENSIVE: Planned Parenthood is coping with cyberattacks on its online systems after anti-abortion activists released a set of undercover videos featuring officials from the group. Hackers claimed to have posted a database associated with the group’s website as well as employees’ names and e-mail addresses, The Post’s Abby Ohlheiser and Andrea Peterson reported. “The hackers told the Daily Dot that they used an attack that relies on exploiting bugs in the Web site’s database to gain access to information,” the reporters wrote. “They also claimed to have encrypted internal Planned Parenthood e-mails, but no such e-mails appear to have been leaked as part of the attack so far.”

ICYMI: A newly discovered bug in the Android mobile operating system can be used to crack nearly one billion devices, experts said.

SCALING UP: Facebook plans to expand its service offering free basic Internet on mobile devices under its platform. “ has brought over 9 million people online over the past year, Chris Daniels, vice president of product for, told Reuters on Monday,” the news service reported. “Facebook developed the platform with six technology partners to bring an estimated 4.5 billion unconnected people online, mainly in Latin America, Asia and Africa. It offers pared-down Web services for free to users, along with access to Facebook’s own social network and messaging services.”