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U.S. court renews FISA authority to collect phone, online data

July 19, 2013 at 5:19 PM

WASHINGTON, July 19 (UPI) -- A U.S. court reauthorized collection of telephone and online data by the federal government, the office of Director or National Intelligence said Friday.

The National Security Agency has been collecting the data under a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that expired Friday.

"On June 6, 2013, the Director of National Intelligence declassified certain information about this telephony metadata collection program in order to provide the public with a more thorough and balanced understanding of the program," DNI James Clapper's office said in a statement Friday. "Consistent with his prior declassification decision and in light of the significant and continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection program, the DNI has decided to declassify and disclose publicly that the government filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the court renewed that authority."

The statement said the Obama administration is "undertaking a careful and thorough review of whether and to what extent additional information or documents pertaining to this program may be declassified, consistent with the protection of national security."

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