Secret FISA courts still exist. Lone wolf surveillance authority and roving wiretaps still exist. They can still grab oodles of other data like medical and business records.
And the US Attorney General has even been awarded new ’emergency powers’ to use in his/her sole discretion… just in case the secret courts might be uncooperative.
The big victory being cheered by the media pertains to the collection of phone records. This one is actually hilarious.
The USA FREEDOM Act prevents the government from seizing and storing ‘call detail records’, the so-called meta-data information like your phone number, the other caller’s phone number, the length of the call, etc.
But section 107(k)(3)(B) of the new law specifically states that ‘call detail records’ do NOT include the *actual content* of the call itself. Or your name. Address. Financial data. Cell-site location. Etc.
So basically they can’t archive your phone number. But everything else is fair game.