National Security Agency analysts will not be allowed to probe a database that holds for five years worth of domestic call records of Americans after November 29, according to a statement released on July 27.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said on Monday that NSA analysts will not be given access to old databases after the six-month transition period lapses. However, for another three months, NSA technicians can still view historical records to enable them to make a comparison between the data from the old database and those collected under the U.S.A. Freedom Act. After three months, they no longer have access.
Old database will be cleaned out, according to NSA, but pursuant to a court order, the agency shall preserve records significant to lawsuits assailing its surveillance program.
“The telephony metadata preserved solely because of preservation obligations in pending civil litigation will not be used or accessed for any other purpose, and, as soon as possible, N.SA. will destroy those records,” a statement from agency said as quoted by New York Times.
On the evening of June 2, President Barack Obama signed into law the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which reformed the NSA surveillance program. Such enactment stripped the NSA of its authority to hold telephone metadata of Americans, including date and time of calls and parties to the call. It also prohibits massive collection of Internet metadata and gives NSA six months transition period.
The data collected by the NSA are used to scoop out evidence of terrorism, but the legislation is silent on how to make use of the data already collated. Early July, there was no information released from ODNI as to what would happen to the data — whether cleaned out as the new system is implemented or still be used according to the old policy.