Courts Continue Abandoning Surveillance Restrictions, While Congress and the President Slowly Abandon Plans to Limit NSA


February 27, 2015. In the immediate wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations that the NSA is unconstitutionally intercepting, seizing and storing virtually every American email and phone record, there were many promises by congressional candidates and President Obama to stop the NSA’s mass surveillance. Now, months later, a federal court has again renewed an order allowing the National Security Agency to continue its bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (“FISA”) Court approved this week a government request to keep the NSA’s mass surveillance of U.S. phone metadata operating until June 1, coinciding with when the legal authority for the program is set to expire in Congress.

The extension is the fifth of its kind since Obama said he would effectively end the Snowden-exposed program as it currently exists during a major policy speech in January 2014.