NSA says they are deleting millions of call detail records

Security / Tech
call detail records

Rather than sift through the large pile of records, the agency is opting to simply delete them.

The National Security Agency has announced they will be deleting hundreds of millions of call detail records. These call detail records were collected by U.S. Telecom companies since 2015. Some of these call detail records (files) contained information the NSA was not authorized to collect. Rather than sift through the large pile of records, the agency is opting to simply delete them.

One thing of note: call detail records only record the details of phone calls and not the actual content.

NSA is deleting the CDRs because several months ago NSA analysts noted technical irregularities in some data received from telecommunications service providers. These irregularities also resulted in the production to NSA of some CDRs that NSA was not authorized to receive. Because it was infeasible to identify and isolate properly produced data, NSA concluded that it should not use any of the CDRs.

Consequently, NSA, in consultation with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, decided that the appropriate course of action was to delete all CDRs. NSA notified the Congressional Oversight Committees, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and the Department of Justice of this decision. The Department of Justice, in turn, notified the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The root cause of the problem has since been addressed for future CDR acquisitions, and NSA has reviewed and revalidated its intelligence reporting to ensure that the reports were based on properly received CDRs.

While it’s no surprise that the NSA has these records, it’s certainly an eye-opener to know Telecom companies hand over more than was actually requested from a government agency.

What do you think about the amount of information the National Security Agency has in their hands? What do you think of Telecoms handing over that info? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: NSA
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