Dec 12, 2013
Secret Court Renews Controversial NSA Surveillance Program
Posted on Jul 21, 2013
A top U.S. intelligence official has confirmed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court on Friday extended the National Security Agency’s authority to gather the telephone metadata of tens of millions of Americans. The order was set to expire the same day the FISA court renewed it.
Extensions of the program have become a routine step that has happened roughly once every three months since the order initially came down, but the admission marks the first time a U.S. official publicly acknowledged what the top secret court did.
“Consistent with his prior declassification decision and in light of the significant and continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection program, the DNI has decided to declassify and disclose publicly that the Government filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the Court renewed that authority,” a statement from the NSA Director’s office read.
The statement continued: “The Administration is undertaking a careful and thorough review of whether and to what extent additional information or documents pertaining to this program may be declassified, consistent with the protection of national security.”
The existence of the spy agency’s secret surveillance program came to light last month after it was exposed in a series of leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
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