Looks Like the NSA Gets to Spy on Americans for a Little Bit Longer

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It will stop... soon.Photo: Fang Zhe/Xinhua Press/Corbis

Under the USA Freedom Act, which President Obama signed into law on June 2, the NSA must end its bulk data collection of Americans’ phone records. But late Monday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled that the agency could pick up where it left off and start spying again, at least temporarily.  

The USA Freedom Act included a six-month grace period, to give the U.S. time to transition to a new system that would keep all data in the hands of phone companies, but that the government could review as needed and with a warrant. But, as the Washington Post reports, the Obama administration petitioned almost immediately to restart the controversial surveillance program for the duration of the grace period. The judge ultimately sided with the government, saying that what Congress “took away with one hand, it gave back — for a limited time — with the other.”

So now the NSA has until November 29 before it really, finally has to stop its surveillance program. But until then, the agency would like to get as much spying in as possible, thank you very much.