This is a follow up on the Jewel vs NSA case from last week
For an agency whose motto is “Collect It All,” the NSA’s claim that its mission could be endangered by a court order to preserve evidence is a remarkable one. That is especially true given the immense amount of data the NSA is known to process and warehouse for its own future use.
The NSA also argued that retaining evidence for EFF’s privacy lawsuit would put it in violation of other rules designed to protect privacy. But what the NSA presents as an impossible choice between accountability and privacy is actually a false one. Surely, the NSA — with its ability to sift and sort terabytes of information — can devise procedures that allow it to preserve the plaintiffs’ data here without retaining everyone’s data.
The crucial question is this: If the NSA does not have to keep evidence of its spying activities, how can a court ever test whether it is in fact complying with the Constitution?
The ACLU calls this “too big to comply,”