The White House has received a 90-day reauthorization of the NSA's telephone metadata collection program. In the wake of the Eric Snowden leaks about the program, the President made some changes in how the data could be used, but said that to no longer collect the data in bulk would require a change in the law.
The White House sought and received the reauthorization Dec. 4. It expires Feb. 27, which sets a new deadline for a new Congress to pass a bill.
The old Congress failed to agree on a bill, the USA Freedom Act, that would have revamped the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). There are critics of the bill who say it goes too far, and who say it does not go far enough, in protecting the public's privacy and reigning in bulk collection.
Both the attorney general and the director of national intelligence said earlier this year that the bill was a reasonable compromise between the need to collect info to prevent terrorism and the need to protect privacy and civil liberties. It was those two offices that, in a joint statement, said the administration was seeking the 90-day extension given that Congress failed to pass the bill.
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