NSA PRISM Continues: FISA Court Renews Surveillance Programs Despite Snowden Leaks

 @ryanWneal on July 22 2013 3:23 PM

For all its public statements about Edward Snowden, the U.S. government appears unthreatened by the leaks the former NSA contractor revealed about secret surveillance programs. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court renewed the government’s authority Friday to continue the programs for at least another three months.

The programs must be renewed every three months and were set to expire July 19, according to Hacker News. The FISA court will have to make another ruling in October.

Snowden first leaked information about two NSA programs in June. The first collected metadata from Verizon cell phones, while the second, known as PRISM, collected user data from major Internet companies including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook. Most of the companies have denied involvement or knowledge of the programs, but Snowden’s most recent leak shows that Microsoft not only knew about PRISM, but also helped the NSA access its programs.

Snowden has since been charged with espionage and has asked the Russian government for asylum.

Other Internet companies have requested greater permission to reveal more information to users about requests the NSA makes, with Yahoo recently claiming a major legal victory. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also fought the programs in court, and states have even passed laws making it illegal to seize cell phone data without a warrant.

Will some of these lawsuits encourage a change in policy from the Obama administration? Or will the FISA court renew the programs again in three months? Let us know in the comments. 

Follow Ryan W. Neal on Twitter.

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