“[FISC] dismissed the constitutional concerns noted in the past,” Crocker, a Staff Attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), told Sputnik. “We [EFF] still very much think that the bulk collection of phone records, even if it’s going on for another six months, is unconstitutional and has been unconstitutional the whole time.”
The court's ruling overrode a federal Second Circuit of Appeals decision in May 2015, which argued that the NSA was never authorized to conduct such surveillance.
“The FISC opinion goes out of its way to disagree with that Second Circuit ruling in a way that I thought was not very persuasive,” Crocker added.
FISC “doubled down,” Crocker argued, on the way the secret courts had interpreted the law previously in a much less convincing way than the Second Circuit’s decision.
The USA Freedom Act of 2015 ended the US government’s mass surveillance program though it allowed the NSA to collect data for a six-month period after the law‘s June 2, 2015 effective date.
On Tuesday, US Senator Roy Wyden accused the White House of violating the rights of all Americans by approving the revival of bulk phone record surveillance for five extra months.
On Monday, the NSA also came under fire after WikiLeaks exposed an agency intelligence operation that was carried out against the French government and all of the country’s major companies.