EFF legal director Cindy Cohn said the agency’s explanation raises even more concerns over NSA’s bulk surveillance programs, and furthers its case against them.
“To me, it demonstrates that once the government has custody of this information even they can’t keep track of it anymore even for purposes of what they don’t want to destroy,” Cohn said in a Washington Post report. “With the huge amounts of data that they’re gathering it’s not surprising to me that it’s difficult to keep track – that’s why I think it’s so dangerous for them to be collecting all this data en masse.”
It’s unknown how much of the data EFF was counting on for evidence has been destroyed, but the organization has “no doubt” that data related to its claims have been erased.
The government argues that EFF’s 2008 case, Jewel v. NSA, should be thrown out anyway. According to NSA and DOJ, FISA authority programs do not target Americans, and it’s “highly unlikely” that EFF plaintiff communications were intercepted.