Feinstein & Chambliss Confirm That NSA Call Records Program Has Been Operating Under FISA Orders for 7 Years

It turns out that the FISA court order disclosed yesterday — the one forcing Verizon to turn over all telephone metadata — was just the latest renewal of a court order that the government first obtained seven years ago. So I gather that every 90 days, they go back and say, “yes, getting the entire database of all call records is still relevant,” and they get a new 90-day order. Presumably this was the CYA move when the telcos balked at justifying such disclosures voluntarily, which was the initial legal ground by which the program was justified (and which was a pretty weak legal ground, as I blogged about here at orinkerr.com back in 2006). And it seems to confirm that the order was as broad as it appears.