Citing the need to preserve evidence related to pending lawsuits, the Obama administration is asking for permission to keep data on billions of U.S. phone calls indefinitely instead of destroying it after five years.
In a motion filed Tuesday with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Justice Department says the series of lawsuits over the program — including one filed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — create a duty for the government to hang on to the so-called metadata currently in the National Security Agency’s computer systems.
“Based upon the issues raised by Plaintiffs in the … lawsuits and the Government’s potential defenses to those claims, the United States must ensure that all potentially relevant evidence is retained which includes the [business record] metadata obtained in bulk from certain telecommunications service providers pursuant to this Court’s production orders,” Justice Department lawyers write in a motion (posted here).
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