After Congress recently passed a law to dial back the NSA’s snooping under the Patriot Act prompted by federal courts calling the procedure unconstitutional, big questions remained about what the NSA would do with metadata they already collected and how soon they would comply with the new law. Now that question has supposedly been answered. In a statement released today, the Director of National Intelligence said the NSA will stop looking at the bulk metadata they collected from phone records after November 29, 2015. His office also claims they will destroy those records as soon as possible after all the litigation over those records has made it through the court system. Which means the metadata may not be destroyed until long after November 29.
The bulk collection of the data was exposed thanks to the now-exiled Edward Snowden and other former NSA employees who objected to the violation of innocent people’s privacy rights. There are several in the political arena, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who objected to making changes in the NSA’s bulk collection because of their unfounded belief that we would be vulnerable to terrorist attacks. However, with the number of terrorist attacks that have taken place already in recent years (that were not called terrorism by the Obama administration) from the Fort Hood massacre to the Chattanooga, Tennessee massacre, their theories have been debunked on that issue. Not to mention that the agency has not been able to conjure up any concrete proof that their snooping prevented any terrorist acts.
Yet the question remains–can we trust the Obama administration and the NSA to keep their word that the records will actually be destroyed, that the metadata will not be looked at, and that the snooping on non-terrorists will stop? With all of the lies that have come from this administration since they took office, I personally am not willing to give them the benefit of the doubt any more that anything they say has any truth to it. If they fight to release illegal immigrants with criminal records onto our streets and force Muslims into this country in bulk using “refugee” status without a check of their background, whatever they claim is not trustworthy.
Source: NSA to stop using bulk US phone data in November, Yahoo! News, July 27, 2015.