NSA May Have to Store More Phone Records as Evidence in Lawsuits

Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 12:14 PM

By Melanie Batley

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The National Security Agency may be forced to expand its extensive collection of phone records, an unintended consequence of lawsuits aiming to stop the controversial surveillance program, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Government officials have told the paper that federal court rules on preserving evidence related to lawsuits could mean that the agency would be forced to stop routinely destroying older phone records, thereby expanding the database, at least while the lawsuits remain active.

Urgent: Should the NSA Spy on Americans? Vote Here Now

"It's difficult to understand why the government would consider taking this position, when the relief we've requested in the lawsuit is a purge of our data," Patrick Toomey, an ACLU lawyer on one of the lawsuits against the government, told the newspaper.

No final decision about whether to retain the data has yet been made, but one official told the Journal that if the information was preserved, it would be used solely for lawsuits and not for surveillance purposes.

Cindy Cohn, legal director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the other plaintiffs in the case, said she did not see a problem with the government saving the phone records as long as they would not still be searchable under the program.

"If they're destroying evidence, that would be a crime," she said. She did, however, question the motives and timing of the government in considering this course of action, telling the Journal, "I think they're looking for any way to throw rocks at the litigation."

Surveillance program critics, including Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the program, say the collection and storage of phone records violates Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches.

In December, a presidential advisory panel recommended sweeping limits on the government's surveillance programs, including requiring a court to sign off on individual searches of phone records and stripping the NSA of its ability to store that data from Americans.

The NSA currently holds about five years of data, and about twice a year, purges any call record more than five years old, officials told the Journal.

Urgent: Should the NSA Spy on Americans? Vote Here Now

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Kerry: There is Role for Iran in Tackling ISIS

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 16:08 PM

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Iran had a role to play in a global coalition to tackle Islamic State  . . .

NFL Commissioner Goodell: 'Same Mistakes Can Never be Repeated'

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 15:31 PM

Commissioner Roger Goodell says that "over the past several weeks, we have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong; tha . . .

Senate Sets $10 Million Bounty on Journalists' Murderers

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 15:23 PM

The Senate has unanimously approved a bill providing up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or convicti . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved