"The secretive federal court that oversees the nation’s spies is laying the groundwork for temporarily reauthorizing the National Security Agency’s (NSA) sweeping collection of U.S. phone records," according to The Hill .
"In an order released on Friday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said that a brief lapse in some Patriot Act provisions would not bar the court from renewing the NSA's powers. Although the court asserted its ability to renew the controversial NSA program, it has yet to issue an order giving a green light to the spy agency. The court also decided that it doesn’t need the advice of a new expert panel, in its first ever opportunity to use the friend-of-the-court analysis."
"Earlier this month, President Obama signed the US Freedom Act, giving the NSA six months to end its bulk phone records collection... Passage of the law, however, came after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) forced a two-day lapse of parts of the Patriot Act... Before temporarily renewing the NSA’s powers, as the Obama administration urged the court to do this month, the judges first need to decide whether that temporary lapse forced any permanent changes in the law."