July 20, 2013
The National Security Agency has been allowed to extend its dragnet of the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon through a court order issued by the secret court that oversees surveillance.
In an unprecedented move prompted by the Guardian’s disclosure in June of the NSA’s indiscriminate collection of Verizon metadata, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has publicly revealed that the scheme has been extended yet again.
The statement does not mention Verizon by name, nor make clear how long the extension lasts for, but it is likely to span a further three months in line with previous routine orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa).
The announcement flowed, the statement said, from the decision to declassify aspects of the metadata grab “in order to provide the public with a more thorough and balanced understanding of the program”.