Repeated mistakes in phone record collection led NSA to shutter controversial program

The National Security Agency purged millions of Americans’ phone records after learning that some of the data was collected in error in 2018 as part of a controversial counterterrorism program. Between Oct. 3 and 12, an unidentified phone company provided the NSA with records that it should not have received — records not related to terrorism suspects. The NSA assessed that “the impact was limited given the quick identification, purge processes and lack of reporting,” according to one report. It was the second such instance of “over-collection” in 2018 and helped lead to the agency’s decision — which it still has not publicly acknowledged — to shutter the program. The law authorizing this data collection, a scaled-down version of a program first disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, is due to expire in December 2019.

NSA Improperly Collected U.S. Phone Records a Second Time (WSJ)