The federal government may actually expand the controversial surveillance program that collects Americans’ phone records in a bid to preserve evidence for the multiple lawsuits filed against the National Security Agency, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The decision comes despite President Obama’s instruction in a speech on American surveillance practices last month that government officials find a way to end the data collection program.
Obama tasked Attorney General Eric Holder and members of the intelligence community with finding a way to wind down the government program without eroding the government’s intelligence capabilities.
But, according to the Journal, government lawyers are worried that if they shut down the program, they could violate evidence preservation rules requiring them to maintain the databases amid ongoing litigation.
Civil liberties groups like the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation have filed lawsuits charging the surveillance program is unconstitutional. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has also led a class-action suit against the government program.