The NSA is in the midst of a heated court battle, facing a lawsuit that challenges their use of mass surveillance tactics.
The lawsuit, Jewel v. NSA, was brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on behalf of a number of ATT customers who had cell phone data collected by the NSA without their knowledge.
To strengthen their case, the EFF filed a number of requests with the court to prevent the NSA from destroying any data of the data they had collected in the event that it might be a valuable piece of evidence.
On three separate occasions, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White has ordered the NSA to stop deleting data, but they continued to do so anyways.
In fact, it was only an accidental e-mail sent from the Department of Justice to the EFF that revealed that the NSA was still deleting potential evidence.
The NSA then argued that their computer systems were too complex for them to control what was deleted and what was kept without compromising the integrity of the entire system.
That was in early June. Now, the NSA has made another attempt to alter the official record of things.
After a recent hearing, the NSA contacted Judge White, telling him that they believed one of their lawyers had mistakenly divulged confidential information. Then, they actually asked the judge to delete any parts of the official court transcripts that they considered to be classified without alerting the public, the plaintiffs, or their lawyers.
Judge White dismissed the suggestion. Instead, he contacted the EFF to inform them of the NSA’s request. The EFF lawyers asked White to reject the request and to unseal all of the documents behind the NSA’s attempts to edit the official court transcripts.
White then allowed the NSA to review the transcript, adding however that he would,
“…hold [the NSA] to a very high standard and would not allow [them] to manufacture a misleading transcript by hiding the fact of any redactions.”
After reviewing the transcript, the NSA concluded that no confidential information had been divulged by their lawyer (or, more likely, that redacting anything at this point would be a PR nightmare).
Commenting on the whole event, representatives from the EFF said,
”The incident speaks volumes about the dangers of allowing the government free rein to claim secrecy in court proceedings and otherwise.”
Read the original story from Yahoo! here.