The Federal Intelligence Security Court has renewed permission for NSA’s controversial PRISM system to collect telecom metadata in bulk.
The office of the Director of National Intelligence released an official statement late last week, detailing the court’s ultimate intent.
The authority, which fell under FISA jurisdiction requiring the government to obtain a judicial warrant for certain kinds of intelligence gathering operations, was set to expire on Friday.
The secret FISA court acted out of protocol by disclosing information on the ruling due to, ‘significant and continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection program,’ it said.
However, in light of the immense backlash accrued by the US government since Edward Snowden’s NSA leak in June, the program’s renewal may still come as a shock.
While it may not quell naysayers, officials are citing the importance of collecting bulk metadata for the greater good.
According to a June statement from DNI James R. Clapper, ‘information collected under this program is among the most valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats.’
‘[These] activities are subject to oversight,’ Clapper reiterated in the statement.
‘They involve extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about U.S. persons.’