FISA Order To Verizon Expires Today, No One Wants To Say If It's Being Renewed

from the because-it-is dept

The very first of the Ed Snowden leaks was a FISA court order to Verizon, ordering it to hand over information on every single phone call, on an "ongoing, daily basis." That order expired on July 19, 2013. Today. It quickly came out that the FISA court has been approving nearly identical orders every 90 days for about seven years, though the defenders of the program like to use that "it's only for 90 days" excuse to suggest there's "oversight." Still, given that the existence of this effort is now actually public, plenty of people are wondering whether or not the FISA court issued the expected followup. Of course, no one who knows wants to say anything.
The Obama administration is refusing to say whether it will seek to renew a court order that permits the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records on millions of Verizon customers when it expires at the end of this week.

Officials declined to discuss what action they intend to take about the order at the center of the current surveillance scandal, which formally expires at 5pm Friday.
That's because it's almost certain that it's already been renewed and rubber stamped by the FISA court. The White House told Guardian reporters to ask the Justice Department. Guess where that went:
The White House referred queries to the Justice Department. "We have no announcement at this time," said Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon. The NSA and office of the Director of National Intelligence did not respond to questions.

A spokesman for the Fisa court, Sheldon Snook, said the court "respectfully declines to comment".
In other words: please, please, go away and can we hope this story dies down by the time the next 90-day window rolls around?

Thankfully, some members of Congress have told the White House not to seek a renewal, but it seems unlikely that the White House will do anything, other than keep on sucking up all that data.

Reader Comments

The First Word

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2013 @ 11:08am

    Re: "some members of Congress have told the White House"

    So you think that all 535 members of Congress are in lockstep with the White House on every issue, and only pretend to disagree?

    I can buy that for some members. But not all of them.

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