It's the most controversial aspect of the NSA's domestic spying program: collecting and storing phone call data from ordinary Americans. But did you know that the NSA was extremely close to canceling the program altogether, even before the Edward Snowden information leaks?
Apparently, some NSA officials thought the cost outweighed the "meager counterterrorism benefits." But before a major decision was able to be reached, according to the NSA, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the whole organization.
When the leak happened, the NSA forcefully defended the program. However, the internal debate on the collection of cell data is still ongoing, and could affect Congress's decision to renew the law in June when it is set to expire.