The US National Security Agency announced it is deleting hundreds of millions of records of phone calls and text messages dating back to 2015 due to technical irregularities in some data received from telecommunications service providers.
“Consistent with NSA’s core values of respect for the law, accountability, integrity, and transparency we are making public notice that on May 23, 2018, NSA began deleting all call detail records (CDRs) acquired since 2015 under Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)” reads the announcement published by the NSA.
“NSA is deleting the CDRs because several months ago NSA analysts noted technical irregularities in some data received from telecommunications service providers. “
Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the USA Freedom Act of 2015 allow the intelligence agencies to collect call metadata related to certain types of calls involving persons of interest whom activity may pose a threat to the homeland security.
The National Security Agency received more call detail records (CDRs) that it was allowed to retain under the current law framework.
The NSA decided to destroy the data because it was infeasible to identify and isolate properly produced data
“Consequently, NSA, in consultation with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, decided that the appropriate course of action was to delete all CDRs. NSA notified the Congressional Oversight Committees, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and the Department of Justice of this decision.” continues the announcement.
The National Security Agency started to delete malformed CDRs on May 23, this year, more than a month ago.
The intelligence Agency also confirmed to have addressed the root cause of the problem for future CDR acquisitions.
The National Security Agency reported the problem to the Congressional Oversight Committees, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and the Department of Justice that notified it to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
This isn’t the first time that such kind of incident occurs, civil liberties journalist Marcy Wheeler published last year a catalog for all the times the National Security Agency had violated FISA since the Stellar Wind phone dragnet went under FISA in 2004.
(Security Affairs – National Security Agency, intelligence)