The US Government Is Collecting Verizon Customers Phone Records

The US Government Is Collecting Verizon Customers Phone Records

The NSA Is Collecting Verizon Customers Phone Records

Senator Dianne Feinstein says the top secret court order for telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon is a three-month renewal of an ongoing practice

Verizon Treason: US govt seizes millions of call records at FBI’s request

 

(AP) In this Feb. 10, 2011 file photo, Chris Cioban, manager of the Verizon store in Beachwood,…
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The National Security Agency has been collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top secret court order, according to a report in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

The order was granted by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on April 25 and is good until July 19, the newspaper reported Wednesday. The order requires Verizon, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies, on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries.

The newspaper said the document, a copy of which it had obtained, shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of U.S. citizens were being collected indiscriminately and in bulk, regardless of whether they were suspected of any wrongdoing.

The Associated Press could not authenticate the order because documents from the court are classified.

Verizon spokesman Ed McFadden said Wednesday the company had no comment. The White House declined comment and referred questions to the NSA. The NSA had no immediate comment.

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) listed 121 million customers in its first-quarter earnings report this April – 98.9 million wireless customers, 11.7 million residential phone lines and about 10 million commercial lines. The court order didn’t specify which type of phone customers’ records were being tracked.

US Government Is Collecting Verizon Customers Phone RecordsUnder the terms of the order, the phone numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as are location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered, The Guardian said.

Report: NSA collecting Verizon phone records


Verizon Treason: US govt seizes millions of call records ...


NSA seizing Verizon phone records


The broad, unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is unusual. FISA court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets. NSA warrantless wiretapping during the George W. Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks was very controversial.

The FISA court order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson, compelled Verizon to provide the NSA with electronic copies of “all call detail records or telephony metadata created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls,” The Guardian said.

The law on which the order explicitly relies is the “business records” provision of the USA Patriot Act. 

 

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Obama administration said the practice was ‘a critical tool in protecting the nation’. Photograph: Rex Features

Politicians and civil liberties campaigners described the disclosures, revealed by the Guardian on Wednesday, as the most sweeping intrusion into private data they had ever seen by the US government Obama administration defends NSA collection of Verizon phone records

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