Recently, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) ordered the National Security Agency to destroy collected phone records after five years. That order did not sit well with many, and was quickly followed by a U.S. District Judge’s temporary halting of the plans. Following this, the FISC has temporarily reversed its previous order.
The issue has become somewhat convoluted at this point. The original order called for the destruction of phone records after five years had passed, something The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) contested on the stance that the phone records can serve as evidence in legal cases against the surveillance practice.
District Judge Jeffrey White agreed with this, temporarily halting the destruction with another hearing set for March 19, when it will be determined whether the records must be kept. The FISA court has now reversed its original order, following the district court’s restraining order on the matter.
With the revision comes a ruling that the phone records that have exceeded the five year mark can no longer be accessed by the intelligence agency’s analysts, instead being open only to technical workers tasked with preserving the information. The next hearing on the matter takes place next Wednesday.
SOURCE: PC World