While criticism of secret domestic data collection continues and Edward Snowden tries to decide his next move, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court reportedly renewed the U.S. government's authority to continue collecting data under a program that was set to expire on Friday.
Though the information was publicly disclosed rather than kept secret, the information came out late on a Friday, the best possible time for releasing news that is likely to be unpopular. That pretty much covers most recent news related to the government's application of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The renewed permission still does not allow the U.S. government to listen to specific phone calls, only to order network operators to provide for data collection in bulk.
The U.S. Supreme Court was recently asked to review the order, first published by the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, that charged Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) to conduct metadata collection for the U.S. government.
- see this PC World story
The EPIC appealed to the Supreme Court to review the Verizon order
The ACLU sued the NSA over the metadata collection scandal