The next 2 NSA revelations to drop

Talking on a cell phone
(Image credit: (Spencer Platt/Getty Images))

Courtesy of Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), we now have a glimpse at what may be the next set of National Security Agency documents to drop from the Guardian and Washington Post. At a Senate hearing today, Wyden asked NSA Director Keith Alexander about the agency's collection of American cellphone geolocation data.

Under the formerly secret interpretations of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, the NSA had the legal authority to collect "telephony metadata" without an individualized order or warrant on everyone. (It now needs a certification of purpose, basically, from the FISA Court.) Whether that metadata included cellphone location information has been unclear. Currently, the NSA does not. But apparently, for a period of several years, the scope of the metadata collection included some type of location information.

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Marc Ambinder

Marc Ambinder is TheWeek.com's editor-at-large. He is the author, with D.B. Grady, of The Command and Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry. Marc is also a contributing editor for The Atlantic and GQ. Formerly, he served as White House correspondent for National Journal, chief political consultant for CBS News, and politics editor at The Atlantic. Marc is a 2001 graduate of Harvard. He is married to Michael Park, a corporate strategy consultant, and lives in Los Angeles.