According to The Guardian, the National Security Agency is presently mining millions of records from Verizon, which it slapped with a court order back in April. The order was sent in its entirety to the media company by an unspecified source, and details that such records are being handed over to the government without consumer notification every day.
What’s more, the court order was “top secret,” hiding the fact that United States citizens are being subjected to surveillance despite not being suspected or accused of committing a crime. The order was provided by way of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and although it blankets the records of Verizon’s customers, it is not open-ended.
The order covers a vast amount of data about phone calls, with the exception of the content of the calls. Information such as the location of the callers, “unique identifiers,” how long the call lasted, and how many individuals were partaking in the call are encompassed by the mandate. The order covers a three-month period of time, and expires on July 19.
The order was signed into action by Judge Roger Vinson, and originated from the FBI. Customers who placed calls outside of the United States to other individuals also located outside of the US are excluded, but those who place calls outside of the US, and from a foreign nation to someone within the US, are all subject to scrutiny.
Not surprisingly, Verizon said that it will not comment on the order. The Guardian says it gave the White House, Department of Justice, and the NSA all a chance to comment on the leaked order before publishing the report, none of which commented. While this particular order specifies Verizon, it is possible similar orders have been sent to other carriers that have likewise been ordered to remain silent on the matter.
SOURCE: The Guardian