Phone Companies Never Challenged NSA Record-Gathering Directive: FISA Judge

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WASHINGTON — A newly declassified opinion from the government's secret surveillance court says no company that has received an order to turn over bulk telephone records has challenged the directive.

The opinion by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Claire Eagan, made public Tuesday, spells out her reasons for reauthorizing the phone records collection program for three months.

The program was disclosed by former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden, provoking a heated debate over civil liberties.

Eagan had asked that her Aug. 29 opinion be made public "because of the public interest in this matter."

On Tuesday, the presiding judge of the FISA Court, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, ordered that the opinion be published. Portions of the opinion were blacked out.

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