The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans, according to secret documents obtained by the Guardian.
The documents indicate that under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata "every 90 days". A senior administration official confirmed the program, stating that it ended in 2011.
The collection of these records began under the Bush administration's wide-ranging warrantless surveillance program, collectively known by the NSA codename Stellar Wind.
Documents Reveal Widespread Email Surveillance by US Government for Past Decade
A few years ago, actually, even just a few weeks ago, anyone who suggested that email correspondence and internet traffic were being monitored by the government would have been labeled a nut or conspiracy theorist. But they would have been right. From The Guardian: