Wednesday, May 18, 2016

US government gets approval to continue tracking phone records

In June,an order granted by theForeign lice Surveillance Court to the FBI , revling that Verizon was handing over millions of private telephone records to the US government. Of course, we later found out thatit wasn’t just Verizongiving up user data.As you may have known, that court order was set to expire today, mning that the government would no longer be authorized to collect such records. But according to the of the Director of National lice, FISA has just renewed its authorization…For those of you unfamiliar with the original FISA court order, here it is: “authorization requiring the production of certain telephony metadata under the “business records” provision of the Foreign lice Surveillance Act (FISA), 50 U.S.C. Section 1861.”At lst this time they’re telling us about it. Here’sthe press relsefrom the DNI:“On June 6, 2013, the Director of National lice 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 declassifiion 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 appliion with the Foreign lice Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the Court renewed that authority.”Needless to say, the warrantless collection of private data hasn’t sat well with people. And that anxiety multiplied tenfold when it was revled that Verizon was just one of a of tech companies participating in a covert government-run monitoring program called PRISM. itself was specifically named as a ‘willing’ participant of the PRISM program, suggesting that it knowingly handed over user data to the National Security Acy without a proper warrant. But of course, it, like other companies,sharply deniedknowledge of the project.“Wefirst hrd of the government’s “Prism” program when news organizations asked us about it on June6. We do not provide any government acy with direct access to our servers, and any government acy requesting customer content must get a courtorder.”Thursday, joined a coalitionof over 60 companies in a fight to push for more government transparencyregarding electronic monitoring and surveillance.

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