This past Friday, the "we're not a rubber stamp" Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Secret Court, which oversees cases related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, rubber-stamped the renewal of the order that enables the NSA to compel telecom companies to hand over records whenever it wants. Bottom Line: No end in sight to the NSA spying on phone records.
The existing order was set to expire at 5pm on Friday, but the FISA court re-approved it at the last minute, probably to avoid the press from covering it. Just weeks ago most of the world didn't even know that the American Government was unconstitutionally vacuuming up the records of every American; however, the government decided to declassify the details due to the increased scrutiny over the NSA's so called telephony metadata program. Odd thing is, why tell everyone that you are going to continue doing the thing that's making the majority of America mad?
Frankly, it doesn't look like the government's going stop the spying any time soon. The Obama administration also responded on Friday to one of the lawsuits filed against the NSA spying, by saying that it would keep collecting phone records as long as it was in the "public interest.". It also noted that the NSA program doesn't violate Americans' constitutional rights. Of course, just because the President says it doesn't, does not make it true, and even though it does, it can't be challenged in court.
The spying is not isolated to just a few people. The NSA surveillance covers not only individuals with potential terrorist connections but also everybody they know and everybody that they know. Considering the six-degrees of Kevin Bacon, we're probably all being recorded.
The good news is that we now know more than ever before exactly how the NSA's telephony metadata program works. The bad news is that the more we learn, the less it seems we can do. There are organizations that are fighting this, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Head on over there to find out what they are doing and how you can help.