U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein opposes requiring phone companies including Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) to retain surveillance records now given to the National Security Agency.
The California Democrat decided it would be too costly and complex for companies to maintain the data after reviewing an NSA analysis of how it would work, according to a committee aide who wasn't authorized to speak on the record.
"Senator Feinstein opposes storing the metadata with the telecommunication companies themselves," her spokesman, Brian Weiss, said in a statement.
Feinstein's opposition is a major obstacle for lawmakers who see the proposal as a way to quell the public furor over U.S. spying, since her panel oversees the NSA. While no legislation has been introduced, the telecommunications industry has been lobbying Congress and President Barack Obama's administration to defeat the idea before an expected debate next month on curbing the NSA's powers.