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U.S. special court renews NSA phone metadata program

English.news.cn   2014-01-04 06:48:06            
 • U.S. FISA court renewed the authority of NSA to operate its phone metadata collection program.
 • It is part of the Obama administration and intelligence community's efforts to defend its legality.
 • Obama has pledged to announce a series of proposals to reform surveillance programs in January.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Friday renewed the authority of National Security Agency to operate its controversial phone metadata collection program.

The U.S. government has filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court seeking to renew the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and the court renewed the authority on Friday, said Shawn Turner, spokesman of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in a statement.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence decided to declassify the FISA Court ruling in the light of the significant and continuing public interest in the phone metadata program, said Turner.

It is part of the Obama administration and intelligence community's efforts to defend the legality of such controversial surveillance programs that have been under fire following disclosures of former defense contractor Edward Snowden.

The Obama administration is carefully evaluating the recommendation of a presidential advisory group "regarding transitioning the program to one in which the data is held by telecommunications companies or a third party," said Turner.

President Barack Obama has pledged to announce a series of proposals to reform the NSA surveillance programs in January, after the advisory group brought up 46 recommendations of changes to those programs in December.


Kerry admits some U.S. surveillance operations go "too far"

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has admitted that some U.S. surveillance actions went "too far" after Washington came under intensified criticism abroad, especially from some of its European allies, U.S. media reported Friday.

Responding to a question in a video-conference on open government in London, Kerry acknowledged that in some cases, the surveillance activities by the U.S. spying agency National Security Agency (NSA) "have reached too far."Full story

Video>>>Snowden urges end to mass government surveillance

Snowden calls for ending "mass surveillance" in Christmas message

LONDON, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, said in his Christmas message that "privacy matters" and called for ending the "mass surveillance," according to a video broadcast on Christmas Day via Britain's Channel 4 television.

"A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves -- an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought," Snowden said in the video message.Full story

UN General Assembly committee adopts anti-spying resolution

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- A UN rights committee on Tuesday passed a "right to privacy" resolution drafted by Germany and Brazil, which have led international criticism of reported U.S. spying of their leaders.

The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural affairs, unanimously adopted the resolution, saying surveillance and data interception by governments and companies "may violate or abuse human rights."Full story


Editor: Yamei Wang
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