Well, having the NSA not bulk collecting all the phone records of American citizens was fun while it lasted. It’s over now. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (have you heard of this before? I have not…) has ruled that the NSA can resume bulk collecting the phone records of millions and millions of U.S. citizens.
According to ZDnet.com :
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The court, which oversees the government’s surveillance requests, ruled late Monday that the program was legally sound in the wake of the passing of the Freedom Act , ratified a day after key provisions in the Patriot Act expired on June 1.
The news was first reported by The New York Times on Tuesday .
In the 26-page filing, the court summed up simply: “The short answer is yes,” to the question whether or not the new law would allow the program to continue.
The new bill, however, limits any collection to six months. Lawmakers set in stone the time limit with the intention of giving the NSA grace time to move to a new system where it would request the records from the phone companies.
News of the massive bulk collection of phone records broke two years ago as the debut leak in the long line of news stories dedicated to US government surveillance, based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Verizon was named as one of the companies forced to hand over its entire customer base of phone records on a rolling daily basis .
Other companies were not named, but it is widely believed that other phone companies, including AT&T, are under similar orders to serve over its customers data.
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