Telephone companies have said they do not want to be responsible for the database, and no one has come up with a workable idea for how a third party could hold the records.
“The idea that this complicated problem will be solved in the next two months is very unlikely, if not impossible,” said one official with knowledge of the discussions. “It is not at all inconceivable that the bulk collection program will stay the same, with the records held by the government until 2015,” when the law that authorizes the bulk collection is set to expire.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
No meeting has been scheduled between government officials and the phone companies to discuss the issue, and no decision has been made about approaching the companies to further discuss the possibility of them holding the records.