Source: Olivier Knox / Yahoo! News
The National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon customers —right down to local call data—under a top-secret court order issued in April, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper reported late Wednesday. UPDATE: The Administration responds, defending a “critical tool” against terrorism and underlining that the government is not listening in on anyone’s calls.
Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) order, the Guardian reported, Verizon Business Services must provide the NSA “on an ongoing daily basis” with information from calls between the U.S. and overseas – but also with calls entirely inside the United States. Calls made entirely overseas were not affected. It was unclear whether phones in other Verizon divisions — its regular cell phone operations, for instance — were similarly targeted.
Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald, a frequent and fierce critic of the national security state’s expansion since 9-11, writes in his bombshell report that:
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
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