US government gets approval to continue tracking phone records

By , Jul 19, 2013

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In June, an order granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to the FBI leaked, revealing that Verizon was handing over millions of private telephone records to the US government. Of course, we later found out that it wasn’t just Verizon giving up user data.

As you may have known, that court order was set to expire today, meaning that the government would no longer be authorized to collect such records. But according to the office of the Director of National Intelligence, 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 Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), 50 U.S.C. Section 1861.”

At least this time they’re telling us about it. Here’s the press release from the DNI:

“On June 6, 2013, the Director of National Intelligence 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 declassification 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 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.”

Needless to say, the warrantless collection of private data hasn’t sat well with people. And that anxiety multiplied tenfold when it was revealed that Verizon was just one of a number of tech companies participating in a covert government-run monitoring program called PRISM.

Apple itself was specifically named as a ‘willing’ participant of the PRISM program, suggesting that it knowingly handed over user data to the National Security Agency without a proper warrant. But of course, it, like other companies, sharply denied knowledge of the project.

“We first heard of the government’s “Prism” program when news organizations asked us about it on June 6. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer content must get a court order.”

Thursday, Apple joined a coalition of over 60 companies in a fight to push for more government transparency regarding electronic monitoring and surveillance.

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  • Om

    I’m Canadian No worries for me! :D

    • Gerardo Castro

      That didn’t stop our Govt from collecting data from GERMAN USERS

    • bobby

      Haha yeah but Hotmail and other email services are american so your emails are maybe still tracked, right?

      • Falk M.

        Who says he uses Hotmail?
        The world doesn’t solely rely on the US. There are a lot of dependencies, yes, but that doesn’t mean that people have no way of dropping US based services.

      • bobby

        Yeah I agree

    • Kurt

      If you use dropbox or icloud the us government can and does get your data.

      • Falk M.

        Dropbox: You can still upload self-encrypted files and that’s pretty much limitless… go as crazy as you want, even very plausible 512bit encryption will mean that the NSA may store it, but won’t be able to crack it for many years to come. Let them have it lol, not my HDD space. (but US tax payer money… hmmmm… beautiful!)

        iCloud implies that he’d be using it, which he might not?
        I use it, but I’m not using it for anything remotely important. Also because it’s as reliable as a suicidal person living next to the railway tracks…

    • D R

      Yeah, our gov’t would NEVER do that to us.

      What a joke.

      • Falk M.

        Right on. I used to be very hopeful in governments in the Western world in general. Now every trust has to specifically be earned.
        As there is no proof AGAINST surveillance, I’m keeping my feet still and don’t trust any govt.

  • felixtaf

    Wait a minute, Do they need approval for that???

    • Falk M.

      Officially yes, if they don’t get it they will happily ignore it and just threaten everyone working for them a little more.
      Business as usual.

      • felixtaf

        I know. I was being sarcastic. Whether they get approval or not, they will do what they want. They did it before, will do it again…

      • Falk M.

        I realized that you were being sarcastic, maybe should have mentioned that I sensed your sarcasm, too. :)

  • seyss

    fail

  • Misti curia

    Good, if you can’t trust the secret government agencies who can you trust?

    • Kaptivator

      Only trust yourself…

  • Lordrootman

    Is kind of disturbing but is good for our government to protect us from Any atack agin

    • Rowan09

      If you believe the government is doing this to protect you’re mistaken. Remember on 9-11 we knew the guys getting on the planes were terrorists and look where that got us. The government does these things to push their own agenda not to protect us.

      • Lordrootman

        So what do u think ?
        What’s the main reason they are doing all this ?

      • Rowan09

        Control Bro. When you have a government who’s saying their own constitution is unconstitutional we have a problem. They passed the Patriot Act which allows our government to spy, record, search and arrest us without probably cause, that’s unconstitutional. Prior to the Patriot Act you needed a warrant to search someone’s house with a research for the search and what your searching for, now a government agent can just walk in your home and use a general warrant without the need of a judge. At the rate we’re going the Bill of Rights will be gone leading to a dictator like America. It’s just my observation and only time will tell, but we’re living in some dark and scary times.

      • Kurt

        Free Speech zones, can’t protest near a person who has secret service personnel. The scariest of it all is the chemtrails. We don’t have chemtrails here in korea (though if they were just contrails they would be here too). Aluminum, borium is killing off trees, plant life. Couple that with GMO killing us and the honey bees. We don’t stand a chance, especially when Obama gets your guns. The politicians and celebrities want your guns though they don’t mention they have guns and their body guards do too.

      • Kurt

        Control is right. Did you know the elite want to reduce the population of the world to 2 billion? They need to kill off 5 billion people. Youtube “Ted Turner population control” he doesnt say kill people but he wants to reduce the population, I believe by any means as we are just scum. Search “Georgia Stones” Those were put up in the town noted as the capital for tomb stones. The first tenant says to maintain a world population of 500 million people. How are we going to go from 7 billion to 500 million people?

      • Bob

        Why would the “elite” care about the world’s population? It’s not like they’re going to be alive forever.

        If they lowered the population, it would also mean less inventors, less engineers, less scientists, etc.

        We need everyone in order to keep evolving, creating cures, becoming more technological, solving problems, etc.

        You need to think about what you say before you make such statements.
        The cons of doing such would far outweigh the pros.

      • Kurt

        I’m not an elite. I don’t want population reduction. Search YouTube “Ted turner population control” bill gates is another one wanting to reduce the population. Most extreme liberals are too.

      • Bob

        You’re an idiot.

        You just ignored everything I said and couldn’t answer the question/s that I had asked.

        I’d probably get more of response from a brick wall.

        You’re right, you’re not a elite and you will never be, so no need to worry.

        I doubt your existence has much of a purpose anyways.

        If the “elite” de-populate people like you, it would be better for all of us. People like you are using up our resources.

      • Kurt

        Why are you pretending to be mad at me for something? Anyway, are you pro murder?

      • Kurt

        They had drills for 911, they participates arrived the night earlier. not sure what the drill was for exactly but saw the video of the guy saying he was part of it. London bombings, there was a drill saw a video of a guy saying he was there for a bus and subway bombing drill so when it really happened he thought it was the drill. Sandy hook, they were doing a drill for school shooting down the road 20 min in the same town. Interesting huh? Boston bombing, there was a drill for a bomb attack at the finish line. Interesting huh?

    • Kurt

      Did the US Gov stop the Boston attack? By the way, where is the proof that 19 year old did it? There is video of him putting down the bombs, funny that the Governor never saw this video but he allowed them to go and ignore the 4th amendment and search people and peoples homes without consent. Pulling people out of their homes by gun point, hands up as if they are criminals. Cops pretending to be military personal in a war zone. This is the kind of country you like living in? infowars dot com

      • Rowan09

        I couldn’t agree more. What’s even more amazing is how a runner on the news said they made an announcement about some bomb drills right before the bomb went off in Boston. 911 was a setup it’s obvious and they did have drills on 911 I watched an interview with ex-President Bush who confirmed. People were “confuse” with what was real and what was a drill.

      • Kurt

        london bombings was the same. I watched a video of a very confused guy who was there to participate in drills for a bus bombing and a bombing in the subway. So he thought it was part of the drill natrually. They were having drills down the road about 20min in the same town on the same morning when the sandy hook shooting happened. Realy all these drills and we are supposed to believe all this? Glad you are awake!

  • Huntz

    When the people can not challenge the government, that government can not be called a democracy.