Six years ago, the world was introduced to a previously unknown government contractor who revealed the National Security Agency (NSA) was conducting an unparalleled level of warrantless electronic surveillance. Edward Snowden’s explosive revelations about NSA’s telephone metadata collection program triggered an uproar at home and abroad, culminating in the 2015 passage of the USA Freedom Act—legislation that supporters claimed would “end” the kind of mass surveillance Snowden had exposed to the world.

During the debate over Snowden’s revelations, federal officials (including President Barack Obama) asserted the surveillance program had saved lives—going so far as to claim, without any evidence, that the program had foiled dozens of terrorist plots against the United States. And even after Obama’s own hand-picked review group found the telephone metadata program not worth it (as did the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) in their report), Congress renewed the program in 2015 via the USA Freedom Act.

Supporters claimed the new legislation would effectively end the NSA bulk telephone metadata program. Others, including myself, felt the bill was somewhere between terrible and disastrous, because its reforms didn’t go far enough. Last year, critics who predicted that USA Freedom Act would not end NSA’s telephone bulk collection were, ironically, vindicated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which admitted that in fact three times as much American telephone data was being collected than before the law’s enactment.