The National Security Agency (NSA) will be unable to access metadata records dating back five years after November 29, 2015.
The government clarified the timeline in a release on Monday while also disclosing that it will continue its bulk data collection until that date. The USA Freedom Act, which passed in June, allows for a 180-day “transition period,” and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) approved the continuation of data collection shortly after the legislation passed.
Even with this limitation on the database, the metadata will remain intact while the government waits for certain legal resolutions surrounding its controversial collection program.
“The telephony metadata preserved solely because of preservation obligations in pending civil litigation will not be used or accessed for any other purpose, and, as soon as possible, NSA will destroy the Section 215 bulk telephone metadata upon expiration of its litigation preservation obligations.”