When the NSA sweeps up your telephone data, including who you call, when you call them, and for how long, they don’t keep that data forever. The deal with the secret FISA courts gives them five years to hold on to your data, then they’re supposed to delete it.
At least that’s the old system.
Now, the Obama Administration is looking to change the rules, and the Justice Department has filed a motion with the FISA courts asking them to allow the NSA to keep that data “indefinitely.”
The motion blames Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) for suing them over the constitutionality of the NSA surveillance, arguing that the only way the government can defend itself from the lawsuit is to keep the data even longer than it already was.
Officials argued that complying with the existing order, deleting the data in 5 years, might conceivably amount to the destruction of evidence for the Paul lawsuit and other challenges to the system’s legality, though they have also insisted the courts can’t seriously review the program’s legality anyhow.