FISA Court Renews Unlawful Surveillance Program, DOJ Defends Program

According to the Director of National Intelligence, on July 19, 2013 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." In a separate filing, in a July 18 response to a challenge brought by the ACLU, the Department of Justice said that a federal district court in New York could not overturn the order of the FISA court. And in a July 16 letter to Congressman Sensenbrenner the Department asserts that "because the telephony metadata must be available in bulk to allow the NSA to identify records of terrorist communications, there are 'reasonable grounds to believe' that the data is relevant to an authorized investigation. EPIC has recently filed a petition with the US Supreme Court, challenging the lawfulness of the NSA domestic surveillance program. For more information, see EPIC - In re Electronic Privacy Information Center.

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