Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published February 26, 2014 at 1:44 PM | Page modified February 26, 2014 at 3:10 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (1)
  • Print

Justice Dept wants NSA phone records kept longer

The Justice Department is asking a secret federal court to let the government keep telephone records collected by the National Security Agency beyond a five-year limit, arguing that it has an obligation to retain evidence in lawsuits it is facing.


Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
So clearly James Clapper committed perjury since they are now asking permission to keep... MORE

advertising

WASHINGTON —

The Justice Department is asking a secret federal court to let the government keep telephone records collected by the National Security Agency beyond a five-year limit, arguing that it has an obligation to retain evidence in lawsuits it is facing.

Data collected under the NSA's phone records programs are supposed to be destroyed within five years, but lawyers for the government are asking that the records be preserved longer for use as potential evidence in pending lawsuits. The Justice Department says it has a legal obligation to identify, locate and maintain information that may be used as evidence in those suits that might otherwise be destroyed.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles are among those suing to have the phone records program declared unconstitutional.

"This is just a distraction," ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said in a written statement. "We don't have any objection to the government deleting these records. While they're at it, they should delete the whole database."

The request was made in a filing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The court has not ruled on the request, which was made public Wednesday. The government does not specify how long it thinks the records should be stored, but it says any order should allow the government to maintain the data "until relieved of its preservation obligations, or until further order of this court."

The Justice Department said intelligence analysts would not have access to data retained beyond the five-year period and that the data would be kept solely for "purposes of meeting its obligation to preserve potentially relevant evidence in the ongoing civil cases."



News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Meet the winemakers

Meet the winemakers

View video interviews, conducted by The Seattle Times wine writer Andy Perdue, profiling five of our state's top winemakers.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►