The National Security Agency (NSA) is purging what appears to be hundreds of millions of phone records collected by U.S. telecom companies that the agency had acquired since 2015.
NSA Reports Data DeletionJune 28, 2018
Consistent with NSA’s core values of respect for the law, accountability, integrity, and transparency we are making public notice that on May 23, 2018, NSA began deleting all call detail records (CDRs) acquired since 2015 under Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
The Government relies on Title V of FISA to obtain CDRs, which do not include the content of any calls. In accordance with this law, the Government obtains these CDRs, following a specific court-authorized process.
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. NSA
People to this day still believe that the NSA and telecommunication companies do not collect and store their private data. Despite the agencies openly telling the United States that they use “data collection” for the safety of the nation.
“Telecom companies hold vast amounts of private data on Americans,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told the Times. “This incident shows these companies acted with unacceptable carelessness, and failed to comply with the law when they shared customers’ sensitive data with the government.”
Fusion centers operate as state and major urban area focal points for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information between federal; state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT); and private sector partners.
A fusion center is an intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination state or major urban area center, which is owned by state, local, and territorial law enforcement and Department of Homeland Security entities, many of which were jointly created between 2003 and 2007 under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice.
There are two types of fusion centers:
- Primary Fusion Centers: A primary fusion center typically provides information sharing and analysis for an entire state. These centers are the highest priority for the allocation of available federal resources, including the deployment of personnel and connectivity with federal data systems.
- Recognized Fusion Centers: A recognized fusion center typically provides information sharing and analysis for a major urban area. As the Federal Government respects the authority of state governments to designate fusion centers, any designated fusion center not designated as a primary fusion center is referred to as a recognized fusion center.
The blunt truth is that these centers are privately owned and operated and they work with federal agencies on every level of communication and the collection of data on United States citizens.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.