After years of laws permitting more and more government surveillance of cell phone and email users' private communications, this week Congress finally passed a law setting limits, the USA Freedom Act. President Obama signed it yesterday.
Among other provisions, the law requires the government to seek judicial approval to search the data, which will no longer be held by the government. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which must approve governmental requests for surveillance, will operate in a more transparent manner and will in some cases receive adversary presentation (as opposed to its previous practice of hearing only the government's reason for seeking information and no argument in favor of protecting privacy).
The New York Times has the story.