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.,,

The court order expressly bars Verizon from disclosing to the public either the existence of the FBI’s request for its customers’ records, or the court order itself.

It is not known whether Verizon is the only cell-phone provider to be targeted with such an order, although previous reporting has suggested the NSA has collected cell records from all major mobile networks. It is also unclear from the leaked document whether the three-month order was a one-off, or the latest in a series of similar orders.

The terms of the order aren’t new. Banks and banking records are subject to the same regulations. Still – the checks and balances chartered with protecting citizens’ rights continue under assault by a so-called wartime footing.

  1. Dave Phillips says:

    It seems to me that there aught to be a telephone company for the rest of us who are not paranoid.

  2. bobbo, in Repose says:

    MikeN says:
    6/6/2013 at 4:25 pm

    Yea he’s surrendered, and votes liberal on the grounds they will provide ‘scraps from the table’. ///// Thank you Mike for knowing my memes. You have to know them before you can chant them like a Mantra.

    Whether starving or well fed, its better to have scraps off the Masters table than to have no food at all. That gives you a choice. Starving people have no choice. Yes, yes: Revolution!!!! If that were the case, where is the Revolution?

    I wish I could live in a fantasy world where I could make my own food and live independently from those who make my shoes and step on my toes. But life does not operate so contradictorially. The job of a thinking human is to weigh all the conflicts and recognize where is own best self interest lies—along with everyone elses— and make the best informed decision. Like whether or not to vote for someone who is going to lose or not. Like everything else, pros and cons to such voting. Times when it is the right thing to do, times when it is the wrong thing to do.

    Add them up. Clear eyed. No tears.

    Dare to be rational.

  3. Glenn E. says:

    “The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.”

    That’s only because the NSA already has a means of obtaining that, separate from Verizon. It’s called Echelon, remember?

  4. bobbo, in Repose says:

    Guyver says:
    6/6/2013 at 2:53 pm

    Obama repeatedly made a point during his initial Presidential campaign about how “open” and “transparent” his Presidency would be to public scrutiny. It was a pervasive campaign platform issue for him.

    You’re assuming Bobbo is intellectually honest about the matter. He’ll turn a blind eye whenever it’s a liberal being hypocritical. //// My, my. Dogma and BS……. and HEY!!!!!! My beer is warm.

    This characterization of Obama and Me has been raised before–and my actual response is not to knee jerk and lie as the FERP will do. Here it is again: “He Lied.”

    Children—Obama Lied about being transparent. Was not that transparently OBVIOUS when he said it? A politician running for office and his lips are moving???====C’mon–all together lets chant the answer: “He’s Lying.”

    What Maroons.

    Whether Two Party, Third Party, Wrapped in a Flag, or a War Hero: THEY ALL LIE. Voting is NOT the choice between Good and Bad, Truthful and Lying, and so forth but rather degrees of everything in every one of them.

    I know the FERPs won’t believe this, but Obama is not the only lying politician in Washington.

    Imagine that.

    • Greg Allen says:

      Well, he did change Bush’s massive warrentless wiretapping program to getting a warrant. And not wiretapping. But, alas, it’s still massive.

      I felt like a lone voice in the wilderness but I did warn everybody about this when conservatives took a collective dump on Constitution after 9/11. Once given away, civil rights come back very slowly. If ever.

    • Right is RIGHT! says:

      What was your first clue that Obama is another piece of shit? The fact that he is a POLITICIAN? Or the fact that he’s a LIBERAL?!

      Sure! Republicans (and conservatives) have their problems. And SURE! many of them also lie. You said it — they’re ALL politicians. BUT!!! Add it up, which you won’t do probably because you CAN’T, and you will see that the lies from the LEFT are MUCH MORE DESTRUCTIVE!

      IDIOTS like you who BELIEVE what your party TELL you ARE what’s wrong! And just like the press who give the liberal left a pass on almost any issue you also CHOOSE to close your eyes to the really bad leftist politicians — like Obama.

      It’s clear that you will never admit the FACT that you made a bad choice. But here’s the thing about Obama: HE NEVER HAD ANY REAL EXPERIENCE! 8 comparatively FAILED years at a meaningless state level for Illinois and not even one full term at the federal level. Yet, you still elected his lying ass based ENTIRELY on what he said – JUST LIKE SOME MORONIC CHURCH-GOING LEMMING!

      Quite simply, YOU ARE A PARTISAN PINHEAD who is no different than a BIBLE THUMPER! You are so lost in your world of leftist propaganda that you can’t even recognize the truth – JUST LIKE THE RELIGIOUS-RIGHT MORONS YOU RAIL AGAINST FOR BELIEVING IN “THEIR” 2000-YEAR OLD FAIRY TALE! You will always side with the left no matter what and we have seen it over and over.

      So if your hero “Oh Bummer” gets raked for his leaderless uninformed STUPID reactions when we see him flapping his lying ass mouth over issues like the IRS, or pretty much anything else, then it should remind us all of the LEFTIST LIES that our current POLITICIANS and dumb-ass followers (like you) can’t help from telling. You can also be sure that one of your liberal hero’s will somehow try and blame everything on George W. Bush again too – MORE THAN HALF A DECADE LATER! And if you don’t see that lie then you’re just a damned fool.

      So what does any of this have to do with the NSA and the total abandonment of any Constitutional rights? Try this on for size: YOU LET YOUR POLITICAL HERO’S IGNORE OR EVEN BASTARDIZE OUR CONSTITUTION! So is it any wonder that SOMEONE will screw us? When you give your political guy the power to do something, you seem to forget that he will eventually become the OTHER GUY! It’s pretty damn short sighted, but then I would expect nothing more from a partisan fool who only wants a free lunch.

  5. bobbo, in Repose says:

    Being naive, I just assume the Gubment has a back door on the chip to read encrypted docs. If not true today, will be soon.

    Kinda makes me wish I had something to hide?

  6. Admfubar says:

    NSA = the National Stasi Agency

    where you as an american are guilty until proven innocent!!

    which you wont be able to prove as the evidence that is gathered is classified, for use in our new star chamber court system

    • noname says:

      Then you have:

      bobbo, lying in repose said:
      “I’ll say it again … who cares?”

      Citizenship used to be a thing Americans eagerly cared for and believed and fought to keep their hard won rights!

      Now it seems some promote the convenience of reverting to essentially an English subject because the government just knows best!

  7. Greg Allen says:

    Conservatives hate this not that Obama is doing it. We liberals have hated this all along.

    Is this a chance to get back some of the rights we gave up after 9/11?

    Would the GOP be willing to do some problem-solving? Is this carping simply because they hate everything when a Democrat is in power?

    I’d like to see some new laws which makes this broad data gathering highly regulated in private industry and illegal for law enforcements agencies.

  8. bobbo, in Repose says:

    Its all a slippery slope but what is being done has always been legal and NOT a violation of any rights: the gubment is keeping track of when you make a phone call and who its too. Evidently, that has always been legal to do. The CONTENT of the conversation is till constitutionally protected meaning the gubment must get a subpoena to listen in. Not much of a burden.

    Who cares and WHY???

    The right or privacy seems as miniscule an issue as I can imagine.

    When phones were first developed, the conversations were on multi party lines and connections made by multiple human operators. THERE WAS NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY. Do we think its a GOD GIVEN right that only took milenia for the tech to catch up with?

    Silly Hoomans. Tell them nothing is something, then take nothing away from them and watch them whine.

    For those of you who supposedly care…. what do you guess is the best remedy/reaction/protection against further erosions?

    A. Buy a Gun.
    B. Support the ACLU.
    C. Bcome a single issue voter on the issue?

    Choose one or more if you don’t want to follow instructions or color within the lines.

    • noname says:

      Bobbo, for someone “who doesn’t care”, you seem to write allot insisting Americans shouldn’t care!

      You seem very troubled that Americans do care and you do protest other valuing their rights too much!

      Why would anyone “who doesn’t care” protest about others who do care?

      You’re not a government mole are you?

      I ‘am not someone who gets hung up others excessive words, I watch their true behavior and infer motive from that, not what they say!

      • bobbo, in Repose says:

        Thats a good point noname and an analytical factor of great worth. Mind the exceptions…as I am a known ditherer.

        When you find yourself “upset” focus as narrowly on the subject at hand as you can. In this instance: don’t confuse the more reasonable umbrage at having one’s conversation listened in on with the more neutral fact gathering of the fact that you made a phone call and to whom. You can legitimately be upset over the one, or the other, or both===just know which one it is.

        As dithered now several times, PERSONALLY I don’t care about either and care more about a third close tangent: being told honestly what my gubment is doing. Now that I know, I remain as happy as a clam. All my nefarious deeds will remain subject of my dreams only allowing the authorities to go after the dumber actors.

        Eh violet?

    • MikeN says:

      C is the answer. It works for the NRA, who will endorse any Democratic incumbent who votes on their issues, no matter how liberal. I wondered if they would endorse Obama over Romney the gungrabber.

      • bobbo, in Repose says:

        Thats a tough one. They might balance the gun rights with the tax breaks for big manufacturers….. and with Rmoney, all you had to do was wait 5 minutes for the opinion you wanted to show up.

  9. Right is RIGHT! says:

    If you use ANY Google product then SHUT THE FUCK UP!

    You WILLINGLY give your info to some company like Google, Facebook, Twitter and the WORLD but somehow have a problem with the government having that same information? That seems like some major fucked up reasoning unless you plan on committing a few CRIMES or something.

    Personally, I trust the NSA a whole lot more than I do Google or any COMPANY or BANK! Because if you look, it’s not even the NSA that has a problem – it’s their masters! Try looking at the real problem. Try looking at the credit reporting agencies, Tans Union, Equifax, Experian!!!

  10. tomdennis says:

    You said it was OK to give up your rights to fight terror. I voted no most folks voted yes to give up their rights.
    The government has been keeping track of me since 1950.