If you are a Verizon customer then Big Brother is definitely looking out for you.
A Guardian newspaper report reveals the U.S. National Security Agency is collecting the Verizon telephone records of tens of millions of Americans.
On Wednesday, the newspaper published the secret order directing the Verizon company to hand over telephone data, according to BBC News.
The order does four major things:
- Verizon is required to hand over data “on an ongoing, daily basis” until July 19
- Covers all local and domestic U.S. phone calls, and calls from the U.S. abroad, but not calls made wholly in foreign countries
- Metadata provided includes telephone numbers, handset identifying numbers, calling cards used and the time and duration of calls
- Prohibits disclosure of the order’s existence
The White House defended the handover of the records.
“The order reprinted in the article does not allow the government to listen in on anyone’s telephone calls,” a senior administration official was quoted today in TheHill.com’s Hillicon Valley blog. “It allows counter-terrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States.”
Some Senate Democrats have condemned the order. Sen. Jeff Merkley reportedly called the operation as “an outrageous breach of Americans’ privacy.”
Sources: BBC News, TheHill.com