The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.
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 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.
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.
Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
The disclosure is likely to reignite longstanding debates in the US over the proper extent of the government’s domestic spying powers.
Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.
The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual. Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets.
I’ll make a guess. Computer matching of precise time and duration data bases aids in the identification of both ends of a call, in cases where a successful effort has been made to conceal that information. This would provide a means of identifying both ends of a conversation—or data transfer—even when you hadn’t been able to electronically map a specific call in real time all the way from one party to the other.
Ok, let’s say you’re 100% correct about that.
How do you FEEL about Obama doing this?
There was a time Democrats, Liberals, and others further to the Left were for PRIVACY.
(Most of the calls I get these days at my new phone number seem to be folks trying to reach a pharmacy that used to have my number. Hope it doesn’t get me up on some radar somewhere.)
Don’t worry. obama will never use this information against anyone who isn’t breaking the law. It’s just so they can find the crooks easier. LOL
What this really is, is a way to track movements of Americans who use cell phones.
In doing this Obama has lost a liberal Democrat: Al Gore!
I don’t know if it is ”just you,” Al.
Let’s ask Greg.
@Greg: And you’re comfortable with this?
@Greg: The issue is that Obama, and his acolytes, cast him as “transparent” and different from Bush. He’s not. That’s a bit of a lie to the people that voted for him. Promises of undoing the “damage” to civil liberties from the Patriot Act, Gitmo, the wars . . . his whole campaign was run on undoing these things.
He kept, and even grew, all of these anti-terrorist policies (and many I agree with). The difference is that he and media have either ignored or covered up these items, because that would make his campaign promised invalid, and all the people who voted for him into “dupes.”
@Nathan Blue: He has turned around the stuff that was set up to guard against external terrorists to use it against those Americans — that are not into the communist ‘thing’.
@Nan G: #4
Maybe Gore is worried about obama’s people knowing who he is talking to. Since obama can’t be president after the next election, I’m sure he isn’t worried about ANYBODY being concerned about THEIR privacy. Verizon is only the first to have to give over caller information. If obama gets away with them, then the rest will follow.
This can’t be legal. I would think that Verizon, and the others, can see this isn’t legal, and would challenge it in court. Makes me wonder who’s side the officials at Verizon are on. This means that each administration can find out who ANYBODY talked to, even if that person isn’t under investigation.
Where have all of the republicans been during all of this? Oh, ya,,,,,,, I forgot. They don’t exist any more. They are now a branch of the democratic party.
@Smorgasbord: I keep hearing references to Obama not being president after the next election… are we going to have a “next election”? That is just one of my concerns.
Remember, Obama is a beloved Democrat, he can do things that would leave the citizenry and the media in an apoplectic state if a Republican even hinted at such assaults on privacy. Precisely because Republicans might do frightening things with the information: Obama is above and beyond such dirty underhanded chicanery, and if we allow him and his closest liars enough time, they can spin tales that the majority of people will believe. Thus there is nothing to be concerned over, it just takes time to come up with a plausible story.
@Scott in Oklahoma: #9
Not if obama has his way. Keep in mind that only two world leaders had their own logo: Hitler and obama. Why did he want his own logo? Remember when he won the first election, and mentioned the, “Office of the President-Elect”? He couldn’t wait to have a title. He even had it on his chair in his plane. I’m guessing that his puppeteers are going to do everything they can to keep him in office. If there is a next election, and the democrats win, the same puppeteers will just remove their strings from obama and attach them to the new puppet.
Progressives of both parties have supported Patriot Act and have been committing espionage on the American people. They all need to be removed from office, and this act needs to be repealed post haste. Ironic that these scandals come out on the anniversary of the book 1984.
his logo is stain with the bloody fingers of STEVEN the AMBASSADOR,
as they drag him out of the coumpound he was when they set fire to it,
and massacre him, someone mentioned rape him,
his FINGERS on the wall clearly kept the print of the OBAMA LOGO also red,
do you think WE at FLOPPING ACES are being also checked
and would they have the courtezy to let you know,
or do they do it like COWARDS? on AMERICANS not in their party.
There’s a lot more blood on obama’s hands than Benghazi. I forget how far into obama’s FIRST term it was that there were more casualties in Afghanistan than there was in both terms of Bush. The propaganda media reported EVERY DAY how many were lost in Afghanistan and Iraq, but quit reporting the count when obama got elected.
yes terrible and what is done, to them is UN_AMERICAN,