NSA to destroy bulk data

According to the Associated Press, the director of intelligence of the NSA has advised that US phone records previously collected by the spy agency will be destroyed.

The director of national intelligence noted that the records must be kept while lawsuits around the collection programme are continuing.

Lawmakers passed a bill last month to put an end to the bulk phone data collection. Telecoms will store the records instead. The government is still allowed access to the records, but a court order must be acquired from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act any time they wish to view them. Access is limited to records relevant to a national security investigation.

The bill offers the NSA a six-month grace period to end its collection programme and devise a new system for getting permission for record access from the phone companies. The director of national intelligence said that the spy agency would stop using the existing records by 29 November. They would be destroyed once pending lawsuits have concluded after this date.