A federal court has again renewed an order allowing the National Security Agency to continue its bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, a decision that comes more than a year after President Obama pledged to end the controversial program.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance 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. Obama and senior administration officials have repeatedly insisted that they will not act alone to end the program without Congress.
“While the administration waits for the Congress to act, it has continued to operate the program with … important modifications in place,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement released late Friday.