July 1, 2015
But wait I thought we were the most freedom country of all?
A U.S. court has ruled that the eavesdropping National Security Agency can temporarily resume its bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records, according to documents made public on Tuesday.
The controversial program, exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, was rocked in May by an appeals court ruling that the USA Patriot Act had never authorized the NSA to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk.
A new law, called the Freedom Act, which substantially reformed and narrowed the bulk phone data program, was signed by U.S. President Barack Obama a day after the existing program lapsed on June 1.
The Freedom Act also allowed the existing surveillance program to continue for a six-month transition period, but it remained in legal limbo pending Monday’s ruling by a judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
“In passing the USA Freedom Act, Congress clearly intended to end bulk data collection … But what it took away with one hand, it gave back – for a limited time – with another,” wrote Michael Mosman, a judge on the surveillance court.