More information is coming to light in the ever-widening controversy over the National Security Agency's surveillance program.
In 2011, the Obama administration convinced the FISA court to allow the NSA to deliberately search its database for phone calls and emails by American citizens.
The court also gave the NSA permission to hold on to intercepted communications for six years, up from the previous five.
In 2008, the court explicitly banned such activity at the government's urging.
The Washington Post reports the changes reflect a significant expansion of NSA authority without congressional approval or public debate.