The NSA can continue its bulk collection of telephone metadata—a program a federal judge slammed as “almost Orwellian”—the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said on Friday.

The decision allowing for a three-month continuation marks the 36th time the court has authorized this surveillance program.

In a statement issued Friday, the office of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated:

That contrary ruling was issued last month by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, who declared, “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval.”