Secret FISA court allows National Security Agency to continue collecting US phone records

The secret U.S. court that governs surveillance of terrorist and foreign espionage targets is authorizing the National Security Agency to keep collecting U.S. phone records.

The director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper, on Friday made public the continuation of the records collection, as part of the Obama administration's campaign to better explain how U.S. intelligence uses U.S. data. At one time Clapper himself told Congress his officers do not collect such data.

Leaks by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden revealed the bulk collection of millions of U.S. phone logs showing who Americans called and for how long. That prompted privacy activists and lawmakers to push for an ongoing review of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows such data collection.