Technical Irregularities Forced NSA to Delete Three Years of Call Data and Messages

Written by Nitish Singh
Published on July 2, 2018

The National Security Agency of USA announced that it has started deleting call texts and messages that date back to 2015. The decision was approved by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice after the NSA revealed that it is receiving metadata above permissible limits.

The metadata amounts to hundreds of millions of call records and messages that the NSA had stored. The NSA is legally allowed to store call and communication data that involve persons of interest or any individual or group that poses a threat to national security. However, the legal frame of the USA Freedom Act of 2015 and Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act limits how much data that can be collected by the NSA.

Lately, multiple US government organizations have been in the midst of controversies including the CIA and the FCC. Marcy Wheeler, a civil liberties and national security journalist revealed that the NSA has been guilty of violating laws set by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. She revealed five other occasions where the agency has improperly collected or handled data. The agency has blamed telcos that supply data for the issue and has taken measures to prevent similar FISA violations from happening in the future.

The agency reported recently that it was receiving more call records that what was made permissible by the legal guidelines. The agency reported the technical issue to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, Congressional Oversight Committees, and the Department of Justice. Since it is not feasible to isolate relevant data from the hundreds of millions of call records, the NSA revealed publicly that it would be deleting three years’ worth of data.

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