Judge blocks destruction of surveillance records

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Updated: 3/10/2014 7:13 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge in San Francisco stopped the Obama administration Monday from destroying millions of records of the National Security Agency's telephone surveillance.

The court that approved the agency's surveillance has required that documents be purged after five years for privacy reasons and had denied the government's request to extend the timetable for the sake of pending lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, who is overseeing one of the lawsuits, issued a nationwide order Monday to preserve evidence for a half-dozen invasion-of-privacy lawsuits until March 19.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, White said he would be unable to grant "effective relief" to the current plaintiffs if the government got rid of the records before he decided whether they were legally collected.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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