As he does every 90 days, President Obama has once again obtained a renewal for the NSA’s bulk surveillance of Americans’ phone records from the FISA court.
While renewals last year gained a lot more publicity, in anticipation of reforms being debated in Congress, ultimately no reforms were ever passed, and the NSA program continues to operate as is, collecting metadata without serious limits.
This may be the last time, however, as the Patriot Act clauses underpinning the administration’s claims that this invasion of Americans’ privacy is legal are scheduled to expire on June 1.
While Congress doesn’t seem interested in tackling reforms to the program, extending the Patriot Act clauses, having seen how they’ve been abused, will be something else entirely, an extremely controversial question which is sure to be hotly debated.
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