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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

NSA can track everyone's phone calls again -- for a while

"When did you last call your mother? Don't worry if you can't remember -- the National Security Agency can once more keep track of that for you. That is, for the next 180 days.

After briefly suspending its bulk collection of phone call data, the NSA now has the authority to start it up again, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

The data collection program has become the center of national debate over government surveillance and privacy in the digital age. Whistleblowers like former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have made public intelligence programs designed to reach into the vast store of information on our phones and Internet browsers and paint an extremely detailed picture of the nation's communications.

Despite the continuation of the program, Monday's ruling helps push forward Congress's ongoing plan to narrow the NSA's phone call data collection practices by reaffirming its end in November. After November, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court won't provide a blanket approval to the practice any longer."