Judge says keeping the phone records longer would further violate people’s privacy.
A US court has dismissed the NSA’s application to hold onto citizens’ phone records for longer than the existing five-year limit.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) found that keeping the records any longer would further violate people’s rights to privacy.
Judge Reggie Walton said: "The great majority of these individuals have never been the subject of investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."
The American Civil Liberties Union, Senator Rand Paul and the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles have filed suits challenging the phone records programme.
In January, a privacy watchdog ruled NSA’s massive gathering of citizens’ metadata as illegal and suspected of breaching civil liberties.