The order, signed by the then-chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, was among nearly 1,000 pages of documents being released by James R. Clapper Jr. in response to lawsuits and a directive by President Obama. The documents also describe the NSA’s failure to abide by court-imposed rules to protect Americans’ privacy, and show that the agency was more interested in collecting cell site location data than it had previously acknowledged.
The opinion signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly permitted the NSA to gather in bulk information about e-mail and other forms of Internet communication such as e-mail addresses, but not the content. Its true scope, however, was unclear. Three pages describing the categories of “metadata” that the NSA proposed to collect were redacted.
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