Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court asserts authority over phone records

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court asserts authority over phone records

Summary: Published late on Friday, the statement hones in on telephony metadata. Translation? Phone records.


Just ahead of the weekend, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has slipped in the news that it is renewing its rights over the collection of certain pieces of data.

Published late on Friday, the statement hones in on telephony metadata.

Translation? The court is renewing its grip and ability to collect phone records.

See also: Verizon's secret data order timed to expire, but NSA spying likely to carry on

Here is a copy of the statement in full:

As indicated by a previously classified court order disclosed by the media on June 5, 2013, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorization requiring the production of certain telephony metadata under the “business records” provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), 50 U.S.C. Section 1861, expires on July 19, 2013.

On June 6, 2013, the Director of National Intelligence declassified certain information about this telephony metadata collection program in order to provide the public with a more thorough and balanced understanding of the program. Consistent with his prior declassification decision and in light of the significant and continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection program, the DNI has decided to declassify and disclose publicly that the Government filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the Court renewed that authority.

The Administration is undertaking a careful and thorough review of whether and to what extent additional information or documents pertaining to this program may be declassified, consistent with the protection of national security.

The federal court made waves recently when it handed a small victory to Yahoo earlier this week.

To recall, in an effort to clean up its image and speculated involvement in the NSA data mining scandal, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company petitioned the special court in Washington, D.C. to declassify documents from a specific classified case in 2008.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Yahoo argued those files would reveal that the technology company "objected strenuously" to federal demands for consumer data, thus demonstrating its interest in defending user privacy above all else.

On Monday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court returned with a directive in Yahoo's favor.

Nevertheless, given the fervor of the public debate in this country over the right to privacy and data records, this latest renewal from the FISC is likely going to ruffle some feathers beyond the weekend.

Topics: Government US, Data Management, Legal, Privacy, Security

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  • Anonymous, anyone?

    I think what needs to be done is Anonymous or some other groups need to "out" the judges on this court -- publish their home addresses, phone numbers, and any other info they can find on them.

    Maybe if the general public knows who these folks are they'll think twice about being so cozy with rubber-stamping government officials who couldn't care less about constitutional safeguards.
  • Google translator

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    The right of the government to collect data, papers and effects against unreasonable secrecy shall be paramount. Upon probable cause given in secret to judges appointed by the searchers, we may search or seize data already collected for use as we see fit.
    Tony Burzio
    • Fact

      1. The key operating word in the 4th ademendment is "unreasonable" and 60% of those purported to be spied believe that what the NSA is doing is not unreasonable.
      2. All the scuttlebut casued by that traitor Snowden was all for naught when this warrant was renewed; net affect by his "leak"? zero zip nada.
      • Fact? You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it...


        It is funny to hear people call other people traitor while they themselves advocate the breach of international and foreign national law. And if you had any idea of the world beyond your front step, you would know that the leak is already leading to a law in Germany being phased out that allowed the NSA wide-ranging competencies "to secure the safety of US troops" in Germany. Even if the government stalls on doing so despite their promises, taking the law to the German Constitutional Court will, given recent precedent, lead to the law being declared void.

        But returning to the US, you seem pretty poorly informed as well, otherwise you would know that as per US Constitution, those spied upon are not the ones making the decision as to whether it is unreasonable. Those are a)the courts who can declare it unreasonable in specific cases, it remains to be seen how that turns out, and b)legislators who can clarify and restrict what is permitted by passing appropriate laws. And they very much seem to think that what the NSA was doing is not quite reasonable.

        Not the least, those 60% you cite regularly demonstrate that they are woefully ignorant as to what the NSA has actually been doing and simply parrot the tired claims by the government which are in direct contradiction to both what the NSA themselves have been admitting in Congress and the documents released by Snowden.

        So, before you title your post "fact", maybe you should do a little bit more research?