Following a ruling from the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Monday, the National Security Agency (NSA) is set to resume its bulk data collection program, which allows it to store and analyze data about American citizens’ phone calls.
The Freedom Act — signed on June 1 after section 215 of the Patriot Act expired — allows the NSA to continue to collect phone call metadata during a transition phase of 180 days. The agency is expected to switch to a new system for obtaining call records from phone companies at the end of this period.
The decision to allow the NSA to continue eavesdropping on American citizens’ calls had not been finalized until Monday’s ruling.
However, the American Civil Liberties Union said that it would ask the United States Court of Appeals — which had ruled that the surveillance program was entirely illegal — for the Second Circuit to issue an injunction to shut down the program.
Judge Michael W. Mosman of the surveillance court said that as Congress knew how Section 215 was being interpreted by his court, lawmakers implicitly authorized the NSA’s program to continue during this transition period.
➤ Surveillance Court Rules That N.S.A. Can Resume Bulk Data Collection [The New York Times]