U.S. Government Gets Approval to Keep Tracking Phone Records
Well, at least this time they are telling everyone their phone records are being collected.
The U.S. government said Friday that the secret foreign intelligence court has renewed its authorization to collect data over a wide range of phone calls.
In June, the government confirmed that it had been collecting such records and declassified some information about the types of records that it had been collecting. Authorization for such collection was set to expire on July 19, but has now been reauthorized, according to a press release issued on Friday by the office of the Director of National Intelligence.
“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,” the agency said. “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 decision comes at a particularly sensitive time for the court, just a month after former CIA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed details on a number of classified government data collection programs, much of which involved a number of major consumer technology companies.