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.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunicationsecurityRichard LeonU.S. District Court for the District of ColumbiaShawn TurnerU.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance CourtU.S. National Security AgencyU.S. Office of the Director of National IntelligencegovernmentBarack Obamaprivacy

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?