Judge Orders NSA To Stop Destroying Evidence — For The Third Time

Photo Credit: REUTERS / Pawel KopczynskiBy Giuseppe Macri.

A federal judge has ordered the government to stop destroying National Security Agency surveillance records that could be used to challenge the legality of its spying programs in court.

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White’s ruling came at the request of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is in the midst of a case challenging NSA’s ability to surveil foreign citizen’s U.S.-based email and social media accounts.

According to the EFF, the signals intelligence agency and the Department of Justice were knowingly destroying key evidence in the case by purposefully misinterpreting earlier preservation orders by multiple courts, multiple times.

In February, the DOJ asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to keep metadata beyond the five-year retention limit to address pending lawsuits from organizations like EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union, which alleged NSA illegally surveilled their clients.

According to multiple accounts, the DOJ made a purposefully flawed case for keeping such records, fully expecting FISA Court Judge Reggie Walton to forbid such retention. He did, which allowed the DOJ to tell plaintiffs that the evidence of their surveillance had to be destroyed.

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Photo Credit: APCellphone operator reveals scale of gov’t snooping

By Associated Press.

Vodafone, one of the world’s largest cellphone companies, revealed the scope of government snooping into phone networks Friday, saying authorities in some countries are able to directly access an operator’s network without seeking permission.

The company outlined the details in a report that is described as the first of its kind, covering 29 countries — in Europe, Africa and Asia — in which it directly operates. It gives the most comprehensive look to date on how governments monitor the mobile phone communications of their citizens.

The most explosive revelation was that in a small number of countries, authorities require direct access to an operator’s network — bypassing legal niceties like warrants. It did not name the countries.

“In those countries, Vodafone will not receive any form of demand for lawful interception access as the relevant agencies and authorities already have permanent access to customer communications via their own direct link,” the report said.

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