NSA sets date for purge of surveillance phone records

A posting from NakedSecurity titled “NSA sets date for purge of surveillance phone records ” by  Lisa Vaas 

The National Security Agency (NSA) has set a date to purge phone records collected during its bulk surveillance program.

“Analytic access” to the five years worth of records will end on 29 November, and they’ll be destroyed three months later, it said in a statement released on Monday.

There are two reasons for the three-month lag:

  1. The bulk telephony metadata has to be preserved until civil litigation regarding the program is resolved or until courts relieve NSA of such obligations. From the statement:

    As soon as possible, NSA will destroy the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata upon expiration of its litigation preservation obligations.

  2. Also, “solely for data integrity purposes” to verify the records produced under the new, targeted production authorized by the USA Freedom Act, the NSA will allow technical personnel to access the historical metadata for those additional three months.

For a while there, it didn’t look like the NSA would ever let go of its death grip on the records.

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, well, at least for 180 days,” US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) Judge Michael W. Mosman wrote last month, as he jauntily granted a six-month extension to the agency’s bulk collection of phone metadata.

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