FORT MEADE, MD—Expressing frustration over Congress’ decision to let the provisions allowing the bulk collection of phone data expire, annoyed National Security Agency officials reported Monday that the organization would now be forced to rely exclusively on mass surveillance programs that have yet to come to light. “Unfortunately, lawmakers chose to limit our intelligence-gathering capabilities by discontinuing key sections of the Patriot Act, and now we have no choice but to depend on a number of other civilian-monitoring initiatives that continue to remain hidden from the public,” said NSA director Michael Rogers, adding that, although the agency still has a wide variety of covert hacking, wiretapping, and GPS-tracking programs at its disposal that have not yet been exposed by whistleblowers or investigative journalists, the end of its ability to record the phone data of millions of Americans still represents “a fairly sizable inconvenience” for the organization. “Obviously, we will continue to carry out our duty of protecting the United States, but without the powers granted to us under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, I guess we’ll just have to make do with our Dark Sky systems, the Linguos Protocol, and Project OPTIC, among several dozen others.” Rogers noted that while the NSA was disappointed to see the old metadata collection program lapse, ultimately the capabilities of its newer surveillance projects make the old one look miniscule in comparison.

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