Privacy group doesn't want the NSA to destroy phone records

A US judge has temporarily stopped the National Security Agency from destroying phone metadata it collected, thanks to an intervention by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The privacy watchdog argued that the documents were key to upcoming lawsuits against the spy agency stemming from Edward Snowden’s revelations. Ironically, the NSA itself wants to preserve the records for security reasons, but a foreign surveillance court ordered them destroyed. 

The National Security Agency was blocked by a judge from carrying out plans tomorrow to begin destroying phone records collected for surveillance after a privacy group argued they are relevant to lawsuits claiming the practice is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco ordered the agency today to retain the records and scheduled a hearing for March 19 on whether they can be destroyed. The NSA had planned to dispose of the records following a March 7 ruling by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in Washington. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet privacy and civil liberties group based in San Francisco, asked White for a temporary restraining order today, saying the records may be used as evidence in its lawsuits challenging NSA surveillance and are covered under preservation orders in those cases.

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