By Dustin Volz | National Journal
Mass surveillance just earned another 90-day blank check, nine months after President Obama promised to rein in the NSA’s spying powers
In the face of congressional inaction, a federal court on Friday renewed an order allowing the government to collect phone records on virtually all calls within the United States.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved the Justice Department’s request for another 90-day extension of the National Security Agency’s controversial mass surveillance program, exposed publicly last summer by Edward Snowden and authorized under Section 215 of the post-9/11 Patriot Act. The spying authority is next set to expire on Dec. 5.
“Given that legislation has not yet been enacted, and given the importance of maintaining the capabilities of the Section 215 telephony metadata program, the government has sought a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program, as modified by the changes the president announced in January,” the Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint statement.