We have extensively covered the PRISM leaks that were divulged by Edward Snowden, revealing how NSA has been part of an extensive surveillance program, bordering on the illegal. Despite the melee these leaks caused, a FISA court has approved government’s request to continue such telephonic surveillance.
Given the immense backlash over PRISM leaks and the public outrage, it was expected that the government would be more cautious and discreet in continuing such measures. However, it would seem that the powers that be are unmoved and are blatantly continuing along the path of privacy violations.
The permission granted by the FISA court allows the U.S. government to continue sweeping surveillance of millions of telephonic records of U.S. citizens. Apparently, the authorities wanted this in the open so that they could prepare for a backlash in advance.
This is manifest in the official statement from the Director of National Intelligence, which reads, “In light of the significant and continuing public interest in the …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.”
It is significant to note here that while FISA courts are only too eager to grant such permissions, several Congressmen have started to show their discontent with the way NSA and its surveillance works. Talks have been heard about the possibility of enabling greater oversight for such programs and limiting their scope. One hopes that in the coming days, these talks would translate to actual actions, effectively holding intelligence agencies accountable for any and all unconstitutional measures.
Courtesy: USA Today