FISA Court Approves Obama’s Changes to NSA Phone Sweeps


The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has approved President Barack Obama's changes to the National Security Agency program that collects records on virtually all US phone calls, the Administration announced.

In a bid to ease growing outrage over NSA surveillance, President Obama announced immediate changes in January 2014 to the controversial program. President Obama ordered the NSA to seek court approval every time it wants to access the vast database of phone records. NSA analysts were previously supposed to have a "reasonable, articulable suspicion" that a phone number was associated with terrorism before accessing its call records -- but it was up to the NSA and not any outside judge to make that determination. President Obama also reduced the degrees of separation that NSA analysts could stray from their initial target from three to two. According to the announcement by the director of national intelligence, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees the NSA programs, approved President Obama's new tougher privacy standards. The actual court ruling remains secret.

FISA Court Approves Obama’s Changes to NSA Phone Sweeps President Obama administration starts to implement changes to NSA phone records program (Washington Post) President Obama's Changes To Phone Metadata Collection Gets Nod From Secret Intelligence Court (The Wire) Secret court approves Obama’s small tweaks to phone metadata collection (ars technica) Court OKs NSA changes (The Hill)