Menu
Surveillance court extends NSA's phone records collection

Surveillance court extends NSA's phone records collection

The program was extended for five months as it winds down

A U.S. surveillance court has extended a controversial telephone records dragnet while the National Security Agency works to wind down the program on orders from Congress.

Congress voted in June to rein in the NSA's mass collection of U.S. telephone records, but the USA Freedom Act allowed for a six-month transition away from the program. On Monday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved an FBI application to continue the records collection program until December.

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (the more things change, the more they stay the same), well, at least for 180 days," FISC Judge Michael Mosman wrote in the approval.

The "short answer is yes" to legal questions about whether the USA Freedom Act ended bulk collection of U.S. phone records, but "Congress deliberately carved out a 180-day period following the date of enactment in which such collection was specifically authorized," he wrote.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, blasted the judge for extending the program.

"I see no reason for the executive branch to restart bulk collection, even for a few months," Wyden, a surveillance critic, said in a statement. "This illegal dragnet surveillance violated Americans' rights for fourteen years without making our country any safer."

Wyden said he is "relieved," however, that the program will end after five months. "It will take a concerted effort by everyone who cares about Americans' privacy and civil liberties to continue making inroads against government overreach," he added.

The National Journal first reported the FISC's approval of the collection program's extension.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunicationsecurityRon WydenU.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance CourtU.S. National Security AgencyMichael MosmanU.S. CongressgovernmentprivacyU.S. FBI

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments