After a ruling by the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court this week, the US National Security Agency (NSA) will resume its bulk data collection program, allowing it to store and analyse data about Americans’ phone calls.
NSA spying resumes
The Freedom Act, signed no June 1 after section 215 of the Patriot Act expired, allows the NSA to continue collecting phone call metadata during a period of 180 days. The agency will then switch to a new system to obtain call details from phone companies after the period expires.
The decision to allow the NSA to eavesdrop on phone calls had not been agreed and finalised until a ruling earlier this week. But the American Civil Liberties Union said it will ask the United States Court of Appeals, which had come to the decision that the surveillance program was illegal, for the Second Circuit to issue an injunction to shut the program down.
Judge Michael W. Mosman of the surveillance court said that lawmakers had implicitly authorised the NSAs program to continue during this period, as Congress knew how Section 215 was being interpreted by his court.
So if you’re an American citizen, it seems you won’t be able to escape being monitored by the NSA for some time to come.