In keeping with the FISA courts’ standard operating procedure of approving literally every request they receive, the courts have today signed off on another renewal of the collection of the telephone metadata of all Americans by the NSA.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed the ruling, saying it was consistent with the “significant and continuing public interest” in the case, though it would be more accurate to say there is an enormous public outcry against the collection of their personal data.
The FISA orders are intended to only cover a limited time, usually a period of six months, and the previous order was scheduled to expire today. The larger orders are simply rubber stamped every six months like clockwork, however, making them de facto permanent spying powers.
Several different bills are currently going through Congress which would eliminate the legal provisions under which the surveillance authority is requested, and would keep the NSA from bringing such requests to the FISA courts.