President Obama sought and obtained permission from a secret surveillance court to disregard previously enacted restrictions on the domestic, warrantless spying programs of the National Security Agency (NSA), the Washington Post reports.
According to sources cited in the story, in 2011, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, former chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, issued an order ‚Äúpermitting the agency [NSA] to search deliberately for Americans‚Äô communications in its massive databases.‚ÄĚ
Also included in the order was an extension of the amount of time the NSA can store the electronic communication data it collects in the United States. Prior to the judge‚Äôs decision, such files could be retained for only five years; the limit was pushed back to six years by the terms of the ruling.
The order, the story claims, reversed an ‚Äúexplicit ban‚ÄĚ on such unconstitutional searches ...