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You'll have to wait longer for the NSA spying ban to take effect

You'll have to wait longer for the NSA spying ban to take effect
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

If you think the government hasn't been snooping on you since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the National Security Agency's surveillance practices in 2013, you're wrong. That will happen soon, but not yet.

In fact, just today a New York court delayed giving your privacy back to you a while longer. The case involves a ban on the government's anti-terrorism surveillance of millions of phone records.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld Congress' decision to have a 180-day transition period from the government's bulk collection of phone records to a targeted anti-terrorism surveillance program. In May, the court ruled that NSA's bulk collection of phone records violated the USA Patriot Act.

Congress had said that an abrupt change in the program could actually have a negative effect on U.S. citizens, in terms of making the country vulnerable to terrorists. The 2nd Circuit judge agreed with that. He said, "Under the circumstances, we will defer to that reasonable decision."

The court's decision was in response to a request from the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU had requested that the program be halted until the NSA's limited, terrorist-focused surveillance program takes over in late November.

The NSA's surveillance program had ended in June, but Congress authorized a 180-day extension at that time. The NSA program that Snowden exposed allowed for the collection of metadata, including phone numbers.

This isn't the last you'll hear about the federal government's spying program. After all, it's continuing, though to a more limited degree. Plus, the ACLU notes that the government has other surveillance programs that it says need to be reined in.

We'll keep you posted about the government's spying programs, and any legal decisions that affect your privacy. Keep reading Happening Now for the day's tech news.

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Source: Yahoo
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