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If you were busy celebrating the fact that the Patriot Act will bring an end to NSA’s mass surveillance, you should take a minute and wait for another 180 days.

The National Security Agency yesterday reported that the federal court has granted it the permission to restart the bulk collection of Americans’ phone call records. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled that NSA could restart their program and collect the millions of people’s call times, durations and dates.

But, this allowance remains in effect for just 180 days, until November 29. These 6 months will allow the NSA to come up with an alternative system to store people’s data. “‘Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose,’ well, at least for 180 days,” Judge Michael Mosman wrote in the court opinion released on Tuesday.

However, the American Civil Liberties Union said that it would ask the United States Court of Appeals (that called the program illegal) to issue an injunction to cease the program- this may result in probable conflict between the courts.

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The new intended to-be-developed (after six months) system will record the phone numbers and call duration but not the conversation content. Using that data NSA will be able to monitor the phone to analyze links between the callers and terrorists.

Back on June 2, President Obama signed the law after a quarrelsome congressional debate. After the law was passed, the government immediately went to the surveillance court to restart the collection.

Until this decision by the Surveillance Court is challenged, the NSA will have the right to continue the mass surveillance program till November 29.

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Also read: NSA Hacked Kaspersky Labs and Other Anti-virus Software to Track Users

Adarsh Verma
Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]