Menu
Surveillance court renews NSA phone records program

Surveillance court renews NSA phone records program

The FISA court approves the metadata collection program for the 36th time in seven years

A U.S. surveillance court has renewed its approval of a U.S. National Security Agency program that collects U.S. residents' telephone records in bulk.

The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Friday again approved the NSA phone records program amid multiple lawsuits challenging the legality of the program and more than 20 bills in Congress that seek to alter the program.

The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence asked the FISC for a renewal of the telephone records metadata collection program, the ODNI said in a statement Friday.

A judge in New York has ruled in favor of the NSA in a lawsuit alleging the program violates the U.S. Constitution, while Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in December that the program likely violates the Fourth Amendment. In California, defendants in a terrorism case lost an appeal to have their convictions overturned after they challenged the constitutionality of the surveillance program.

The New York and California court decisions, along with the findings of 15 FISC judges on 36 separate occasions over seven years support the view of President Barack Obama's administration that "the telephony metadata collection program is lawful," ODNI spokesman Shawn Turner said in the statement.

Still, the U.S. intelligence community "continues to be open to modifications to this program that would provide additional privacy and civil liberty protections while still maintaining its operational benefits," Turner added.

The Obama administration is "carefully evaluating" recommendations of the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, the statement added. In December, the Obama-appointed task force recommended major changes to the telephone records program and questioned its effectiveness.

In addition, a report from the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is due in the coming weeks. "The administration will review all of these recommendations and consult with Congress and the Intelligence Community to determine if there are ways to achieve our counterterrorism mission in a manner that gives the American people greater confidence," the ODNI statement said.

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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags privacytelecommunicationBarack ObamaU.S. National Security AgencyU.S. District Court for the District of ColumbiaU.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance CourtShawn TurnerU.S. Office of the Director of National IntelligenceRichard Leon

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments