US secret court extends NSA surveillance program


WASHINGTON: A secret court in the US has extended the authority of the National Security Agency (NSA) to gather and keep data of phone calls made by millions of Americans despite the recent scandals engulfing the spying organization.

It is not the first time that the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act renews such authority but it is the first time that the move has been officially acknowledged.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a Friday statement that the Obama administration was seeking “renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the Court renewed that authority.”

The revelation of the spying programs by the former contractor at the NSA Edward Snowden more than a month ago directed the global spotlight on the surreptitious surveillance activities of the agency which is the US largest spying organization.

Snowden also revealed that the NSA checked all the Internet communication across the world and drew ire from Europe when he disclosed the American agency has been spying on EU offices in the US as well as in Europe.

Former CIA chief Michael Hayden wrote in an article on Friday that “Snowden will likely prove to be the most costly leaker of American secrets in the history of the Republic.”

Snowden has holed up in the transit area of Moscow international airport since arriving there from Hong Kong on June 23. The US has revoked his passport to prevent him from further travelling.

The former spy has applied for asylum in Russia. The request will damage the already strained relationship between the US and Russia if it is accepted.

Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human 🙂 Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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