NSA phone record destruction halted by judge

A U.S. District Judge has halted the NSA's plans to destroy collected phone records, something that has had many up in arms. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, more commonly known as the EFF, sought for the temporary stay on destruction, saying the phone records can serve as evidence in lawsuits that are going against the agency's surveillance practices.

The order was made by US District Judge Jeffrey White, who granted the EFF's temporary restraining order to put a stay on the record destruction. Another hearing will be held on March 19 next week to ascertain whether the records can be destroyed or must be kept.

The issue stems from a recent ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that phone records can't be kept for in excess of five years, citing reasons of citizen privacy. As such, the NSA would proceed to start destroying records, which is the action that has been stayed.

Ruled Judge White, the NSA cannot destroy call detail records or any telephone metadata it has collected. Whether the decision will be upheld later this month or the go-ahead will be given to destroy the records is yet to be seen.

SOURCE: Bloomberg