Under a secret Government order issued in April, the National Security Agency is collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers in the U.S. British newspaper, the Guardian, has gained access to a copy of the order:
The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The order was granted on April 25 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and gives the U.S. Government the unlimited power to obtain the phone records over a three month period. This ends on July 19. Under the terms, the numbers of both parties on a call, time, duration, location data and unique identifiers are all handed over. Conversation information however, is not.
Verizon and The White House declined further comment to the Guardian, as you might expect, but this information is sure to spark its fair share of hostile reactions. Former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, has taken to Twitter to make his own feelings known. What isn't known is whether this order is specific to Verizon. It's sure to spark debate, so please do drop into the comments with your own thoughts and feelings on this one, particularly Verizon customers. How do you feel right now?
Update: British news channel, Sky News, has just said via their breaking news Twitter feed that a "senior Obama administration official" has confirmed that this data is being collected from Verizon customers.
Source: the Guardian