The Supreme Court has rejected a call to challenge the National Security Agency’s secret telephone record surveillance program.
Without explanation, the high court refused to entertain a suit from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, seeking to stop the intelligence organization’s bulk data collection program. Now that hope is lost that the courts could strike down the controversial spy programs, all eyes turn to the most unproductive Congress in history.
Several members of congress have proposed reforms. Security hawks, led by California Senator Diane Feinstein, have advanced a bill to only limit the number of officials who can query the already-collected data. Privacy advocates, such as Senators Ron Wyden and Rand Paul, want to end bulk collection entirely, provide more transparency to congress, and allow citizens to sue the NSA.
All of this, however, will have to wait until President Obama’s NSA task force releases its recommendations. Then, next year, in between budget negotiations, immigration reform, and healthcare, a congress that hasn’t passed any major bills will have to tackle surveillance reform.
This is going to take a while.